Sam Simmonds stars in England opening Six Nations win over Italy

England scrumhalf Ben Youngs is likely to miss the Six Nations clash against Wales at Twickenham next weekend after suffering knee ligament damage in Sunday's victory over Italy in Rome.

"It's too early to make any sort of prediction but I'm always optimistic", he added.

England would also name as replacement on Monday, officials said.

The 23-year-old will get better as the tournament progresses and he is likely to play a crucial role in his side's ambitions of winning a third consecutive Six Nations championship.

"England have big guys like Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, Maro toje, Chris Robshaw and Ben Te'o, and we were beaten up".

Knowing Eddie Jones, he will likely keep us guessing but we should know more later in the week when the squad is updated.

Italy refused to let England get away, however, and Bellini touched down in the left corner in the 58th minute following another wonderful pass from Allan.

"He is a humble boy, he's really fitted into the team well and his enthusiasm for ball carrying is going to be important on Sunday". The basis of the game - the scrum and the lineout - were good for us today.

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Benvenuti replied for the hosts with a fantastic try just after the 20-minute mark following a brilliant team move, but England were well in control early on. "I don't think we have scrummed that well since I've been in charge of England".

Since 2010, Scotland have lost 15 of their 17 away games in the Six Nations, with their only two victories in that period coming against Italy.

Both sides had early second-half scores ruled out by the TMO before Simmonds burst free from the back of a maul to score his first worldwide try on 53 minutes.

England's Owen Farrell takes a penalty kick. "We'll train tomorrow, have Tuesday as a recovery day and we feel like we'll be ready by Friday to face Wales", he said. "Italy were always going to be hard to play".

A Farrell penalty gave England a 10-point advantage, which remained intact when Tommaso Boni had a try ruled out for a forward pass, and number eight Simmonds showed a sharp turn of foot to score his first England try after spotting a gap from the back of a ruck.

Simmonds then raced away to scored England's fourth try although Italy, who lost 10 out of 11 matches a year ago, continued to cause trouble and again reduced the arrears as Bellini forced his way past Mike Brown to score in the corner.

While seven tries, including an impressively-taken double for both Anthony Watson and Sam Simmonds, against a callow Italian side is pretty much par for this particular fixture in recent times, coach Eddie Jones will have seen enough to be reassured his side, particularly with ball in hand, are heading in the right direction.

  • Regina Holmes