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Italy vs England: Is There Any Chance For a Major Upset From Italy in the City of Love?

James
February 8, 2022
Modified: February 15, 2022

We head into the second round of the 2022 Six Nations with Italy playing England on the 13th February (16:00 CET). This is not about who is going to win as we all predict that this is going to be a whitewash for the Red Rose. The “Sweet Chariot” is going to run riot in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico and it will be like a remake of “Ben-Hur,” or for the younger readers, a sequel to “Gladiator!”

England fans are in no rush to have a promotion and relegation in the Six Nations Championship as the away game against Italy is always over the Valentines weekend. Who would not want to be able to watch rugby and score points with their partners in the romantic stakes?

Rome is seen by many around the world as the city of love. What a wonderful place to experience the love for rugby, great food, history, and architecture. Fun fact: Roma is the Italian word for Rome and if you turn the word around Roma becomes AMOR, which is the Italian word for love.

Italy have never won the 6 Nations Championship, but they have at least beaten everyone except England in this competition. Looking back to their first match, England won 36–6. Since then, Italy have come close twice losing only by a four-point margin in the 2008 and 2012 Six Nations Championship. Things didn’t get better in the 2021 competition with England beating the Azzurri 41 to 18.

The fact that we already know who is going to win does not make this game any easier. Ireland, England, and France are strong favourites to win the Six Nations Championship 2022 and matches against Italy must be a priority in terms of how many points you can score against them. It is going to be the best Six Nations to date and it’s also going to be the closest competition so far. Having a high score against Italy could make or break Ireland, England, or France.

So how strong are Italy and England? Let’s take a look at the squads.

Italy Six Nations Squad 2022

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NameClubPositionCaps
Niccolò CannoneBenettonLock15
Pietro CeccarelliBriveProp15
Epalahame FaivaBenettonHooker1
Danilo FischettiZebreProp15
Marco FuserNewcastle FalconsLock36
Toa HalafihiBenettonBack-rowUncapped
Michele LamaroBenettonBack-row10
Gianmarco LucchesiBenettonHooker8
Sebastian NegriBenettonLock36
Ivan NemerBenettonProp3
Giacomo NicoteraBenettonHookerUncapped
Tiziano PasqualiBenettonProp21
Giovanni PettinelliBenettonFlanker1
Federico RuzzaBenettonLock25
David SisiZebreNo 818
Abraham SteynBenettonFlanker46
Cherif TraoreBenettonProp12
Giosuè ZilocchiZebreProp15
Manuel ZulianiBenettonFlankerUncapped
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Backs

NameClubPositionCaps
Callum BraleyBenettonScrumhalf12
Pierre BrunoZebreWing1
Juan Ignacio BrexBenettonCentre8
Giacomo Da ReBenettonFly-halfUncapped
Alessandro FuscoFiamme Oro RugbyScrumhalf2
Paolo GarbisiBenettonFly-half13
Monty IoaneBenettonWing9
Leonardo MarinBenettonFly-halfUncapped
Tommaso MenoncelloBenettonCentreUncapped
Federico MoriKawasaki RobotCentre11
Luca MorisiBenettonCentre36
Edoardo PadovaniBenettonWing0
Stephen VarneyGloucester RugbyScrumhalf9
Marco ZanonBenettonCentre6

England Six Nations Squad

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NameClubPositionCaps
Alfie BarbearyWaspsHookerUncapped
Jamie BlamireNewcastle FalconsHooker5
Ollie ChessumLeicester TigersLockUncapped
Luke Cowan-DickieExeter ChiefsHooker31
Tom CurrySale SharksFlanker36
Alex DombrandtHarlequinsNo 8 or lock4
Charlie EwelsBathLock26
Ellis GengeLeicester TigersProp31
Jamie GeorgeSaracensHooker61
Joe HeyesLeicester TigersProp2
Jonny HillExeter ChiefsLock12
Maro ItojeSaracensLock51
Courtney LawesNorthampton SaintsLock90
Lewis LudlamNorthampton SaintsBack-row10
Joe MarlerHarlequinsProp74
Bevan RoddSale SharksProp2
Sam SimmondsExeter ChiefsNo 89
Kyle SincklerBristol BearsProp47
Will StuartBath RugbyProp15

Backs

NameClubPositionCaps
Mark AtkinsonGloucesterCentre1
Orlando BaileyBathFly-halfUncapped
Owen FarrellSaracensFly-half94
Tommy FreemanNorthampton SaintsFull-backUncapped
George FurbankNorthampton SaintsFull-back5
Ollie Hassell-CollinsLondon IrishWingUncapped
Max MalinsSaracensFull-back10
Joe MarchantHarlequinsCentre7
Jonny MayGloucesterWing69
Luke NorthmoreHarlequinsCentreUncapped
Jack NowellExeter ChiefsWing34
Raffi QuirkeSale SharksScrumhalf2
Harry RandallBristol BearsScrumhalf2
Henry SladeExeter ChiefsCentre43
Marcus SmithHarlequinsFly-half5
Freddie StewardLeicester TigersFull-back5
Ben YoungsLeicester TigersScrumhalf112

A Look at the Squads

It is always good to look at the squads that intend to play in the Internationals. If you look at Italy and England, you will see that via Caps that England are the strongest team.

Something that is becoming more of a point is having players from three to four clubs is said to be better than having a squad made up of fourteen teams?

In football, the USSR used to send their best team to play for the international team. They did experience some success so that they continued to do this on a regular basis. If this was the winning formulae, then Italy would have the advantage in the match between Italy and England as most of their players come from Benetton.

Bayern Munich tried to recruit the full German national team. On doing this they had limited success. The big problem in English rugby is that when international matches are played the domestic league continues. If you had a lot of Internationals in your team you would need a second team to be a formidable team so that they could continue to play in the premiership league.

There are some statistical companies who are currently stating that the best way forward is not one team but four teams and quote Ireland’s strength in rugby being due to familiarity with players that they tend to recruit from. Rugby is also taking major leaps forward in statistics and teams like the Leicester Tigers are adopting statistics in recruiting their players.

Injuries

Rugby is a contact sport and because of those injuries are a natural occurrence. As we head into the first week of the Six Nations Championship how are both teams regard injuries.

England have players that are out of the selected squad but are waiting on who can recover in time. England’s captain Owen Farrell is out for the full competition due to needing an operation on his ankle and it looks like he will be out for at least ten weeks. Jonny May is also out for the full tournament needing an operation on his knee. Joe Marler is out with Covid and is currently in isolation. He should be ok by the time the Six Nations start if there are no complications, and he tests negative. Courtney Lawes is not out of the tournament but is not training due to head injury return to play protocols. Jonny Hill is also not 100% for the first week of the tournament, in the Calcutta cup against Scotland.

Italy has their most capped player Parisse out for the first two matches of the competition due to a wrist injury.

Final Verdict: Our Prediction for the Italy VS England Six Nations Championship 2022

All the fans who take their partners to this match will win in the romantic stakes. The wheels of the sweet Chariot will take over in the city of love, so it is England to win. This is still an important match for Italy as a win against England would put them on the rugby map.

England will win and I predict that they will win by forty points.

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James

Gambling Consultant at Betiton