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England Saxons 45-17 Italy A

England Saxons (21) 45
Tries: Simpson-Daniel 2, Monye, Brown, Tuilagi, Hodgson, Gaskell Cons: Myler 5
Italy A (3) 17
Tries: Buso, Toniolatti Cons: Bocchino 2 Pen: Bocchino


Billy Twelvetrees
Twelvetrees was instrumental in attack for England

England Saxons made short work of Italy's second string as they ran in seven tries for a big win at Sixways.

The Saxons dominated up front, with prop Alex Corbisiero and lock Graham Kitchener outstanding.

James Simpson-Daniel (two), Ugo Monye, Mike Brown, Manu Tuilagi, Paul Hodgson and James Gaskell scored for the hosts.

Centre Billy Twelvetrees was instrumental in attack without crossing himself, while fly-half Stephen Myler added five conversions.

The visitors mustered late touchdowns from Paulo Buso and Giulio Toniolatti, plus a penalty and two conversions from Myler's opposite number Riccardo Bocchino.

Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw captained a Saxons side containing seven senior internationals, including the back three of Brown, Simpson-Daniel and Monye, with Lee Mears and Luke Narraway among those appearing up front.

And there was no shortage of experience in the Italian team either, with former Gloucester lock Marco Bortolami and number eight Josh Sole boasting 130 Test caps between them.

England, though, made their presence felt during the opening quarter as they established a commanding lead through two converted tries.

Monye scored the first, running in from 40m out, and a second score arrived in the 19th minute, Twelvetrees' long pass finding Kitchener, who freed an unmarked Gaskell out wide.

Myler converted both tries and Italy, showing poor defensive organisation and missing too many tackles, already had a mountain to climb at 14-3 adrift.

England cashed in again as half-time approached, Brown cutting open the Italian defence from inside his own half before Twelvetrees released the Harlequins full-back to scamper over.

Myler's third successful conversion took England 21-3 clear at the break and they required barely seven minutes of the second period to move further ahead, the impressive Kitchener again involved in a build-up that ended with Simpson-Daniel crossing.

Italy then enjoyed a spell of territorial control but England were solid defensively, which prop Joe Marler underlined through a try-saving tackle on Bortolami.

England then wrested back control, the 19-year-old Tuilagi providing further evidence he is a midfield star-in-waiting for senior England boss Martin Johnson with a barnstorming run to claim try number five before substitute scrum-half Hodgson scored with his first touch.

Buso's touchdown and Bocchino's conversion took Italy into double figures, but England had already done more than enough and Simpson-Daniel crossed in the final minute to put an extra gloss on the win.

The Saxons move to play Ireland's A team, the Wolfhounds, at Ravenhill in Belfast on Friday, 4 February, but will not then not play together again until this summer's Churchill Cup.


England Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster:

"Manu [Tuilagi] has got great potential. He has pushed his way through into the Leicester first team, which is no mean feat, and in addition to that he's now performing consistently well for them.

"To do that at 19 years old indicates he has got some talent. With all young players, it's never a straight line upwards, but we have been very impressed with how quickly Manu has adapted to a new environment and got up to speed.

"It's always difficult when you meet on a Monday and try to create a team and a style of play in three days.

"Across the board, there was probably something to say about every player, but there were also lots of things we could have done better.

"We are pleased, but recognise we have got to step up another 20% for next Friday because it's going to be a massive challenge over in Belfast."


England Saxons: Brown, Simpson-Daniel, Tuilagi, Twelvetrees, Monye, Myler, Wigglesworth, Marler, Mears, Corbisiero, Kitchener, Day, Gaskell, Robshaw, Narraway.
Replacements: Buckland, Bell, Robson, Saull, Hodgson, Barritt, Morgan.

Italy A: Buso, Toniolatti, A. Pratichetti, M. Pratichetti, Sepe, Bocchino, Semenzato, Aguero, Sbaraglini, Cittadini, Pavanello, Bortolami, Bernabo, Minto, Sole.
Replacements: Rizzo, Staibano, Furno, Belardo, Pavan, Marcato.

Ref: Peter Allan (Scotland).



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see also
Tuilagi wins work permit appeal
07 Jul 10 |  Leicester
Tigers' Tuilagi in permit problem
15 Jun 10 |  Leicester
Tuilagi is 'an asset to England'
15 Jun 10 |  Leicester


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