After bouncing back from an opening loss in Paris with successive wins over Scotland, Ireland and Wales, England are currently top of the Six Nations standings. On 13 points, they are level with nearest rivals France, but have a slight lead on points difference. Eddie Jones’ side will go into their final game against the Azzurri looking to do everything they can to put the Championship out of France and Ireland’s reach. And if you read any rugby betting preview on England vs Italy, England are firm favourites.
The final round of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations will take place on Oct 31, or ‘Super Saturday’. Their will be three games. Wales will face Scotland in Llanelli. France face off against Ireland in Paris. And in the penultimate game of the Championship, England take on Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The Azzurri have yet to win a test against England
The first meeting between the sides was at the 1991 Rugby World Cup, which England won 36–6. And since that first meeting, England have dominated matches between the two countries – despite some excellent, spirited displays by the Italians. In a total of 26 encounters, Italy have yet to register their first win or draw in the fixture. And rugby betting preview on England vs Italy reflects the red and whites’ 100% win record to date.
Prior to Italy joining the Six Nations Championship, England and Italy had met five times. They had clashed three times in Rugby World Cups, once in a Rugby World Cup qualifier and once in an Autumn International. Italy’s inclusion into the Six Nations Championship in 2000, however, has ensured regular meetings between the sides. The two most recent occasions both ended in routs for England. They scored eight tries to hammer the Azzurri 57-14 during the 2019 Six Nations. And later the same year, they beat Italy 37-0 at St. James Park during the 2019 World Cup warm-ups.
Rugby betting preview on England vs Italy shows Jones flexible on England squad
An England squad of around 30 players will gather for the week of 18 October, without players involved in the Gallagher Premiership final on Oct 24. But coach Eddie Jones is believed to be ready to add to his squad, with under a week until the decisive trip to Rome, if necessary. Exeter, Wasps, Bath, Sale and Bristol are currently leading the Premiership, and players from these clubs were key to England’s 33-30 defeat of Wales in their last Six Nations game back in March. So players involved in the Premiership final on 24 October may still be included in the England team chasing the Six Nations title in Italy one week later. But depending on which clubs make it to the final, the likes of Exeter’s Jack Nowell and Henry Slade, or Sale’s Tom Curry and Manu Tuilagi may miss England’s warm-up match versus the Barbarians a day later on Oct 25.
England are also prepared for any tactical surprises Italy may spring on them, having learnt their lesson the hard way in their 2017 Six Nations clash. They were bamboozled by Italy’s refusal to compete at the ruck, allowing Italy to take a 10-5 lead. The Italians had found a way to legally drift behind the tackle area and obstruct England’s scrum-half without being offside. It was a simple idea. Don’t commit anyone to the breakdown after the initial tackle. No ruck is formed. The offside law is now irrelevant, and you can stand wherever you like. England eventually rallied to win 36-15, but Jones later criticised the tactic as “not rugby”. World Rugby also introduced rule changes five months later to outlaw the ploy. Rugby betting preview on England vs Italy odds show that this time, England will be on their toes.
Italy look set to continue losing streak
Italy’s long winless run in the Six Nations looks set to continue. The last time Italy won a match in the Championship, it was February 28th, 2015. On the day they managed to edge Scotland 22-19 at Murrayfield, Barack Obama was still in the White House. Nobody knew what Brexit was. And Ireland were still adjusting to life in their first full year without Brian O’Driscoll. Since that day, the Azzurri have had 22 bites at the cherry, but have not yet managed to score another victory. This is a pretty shocking record for one of rugby’s Tier One nations.
Their World Cup was a bit of a non-event. They started with comfortable, expected victories over Namibia and Canada. And then came a 49-3 hammering by the Springboks, a side they had beaten in November 2016 in vastly different circumstances. Conor O’Shea has now stepped down from his role as head coach, ending his contract six months early. South African Franco Smith is at the helm on a temporary basis. And in the event of any other developments between now and Super Saturday, keep up to date with any changes in rugby betting preview on England vs Italy odds at online gambling sites in the UK.
This is not to say the Azzuri don’t have talent. Flanker Jake Polledri has put in consistently impressive performances for Gloucester. Quick, balanced and direct, he is a devastating runner – he beat 14 defenders and made 109 metres during a man of the match display against Canada at the World Cup in Japan. And while the cancellation of Italy’s final World Cup match robbed captain Sergio Parisse of the chance to say goodbye on the biggest stage, he may still be in line to make one final appearance in Rome when England visit.
Rugby betting preview on England vs Italy predictions
Current 2020 Six Nations standings:
England are currently sat at the top of the six nations standings after 4 rounds, ahead of France on points difference. And they will be looking to significantly increase that difference when they face Italy in Rome – a side they have never lost to. They will also be playing for the bonus point, as it would effectively put the Championship out of reach of nearest rivals France. For France to take the title, they would then need a bonus-point win against Ireland, beating them by a greater margin than England beat Italy. Not an easy task.
Rugby betting preview on England vs Italy aside, the red and whites will also be playing for the bonus point to make it as difficult as possible for the Irish. But if Ireland secure bonus-point wins over Italy and France, they will be crowned champions regardless. You can read more about this season’s Championship finale here 2020 Six Nations Championship Betting Tips.
DoubleBet Sportsbook are offering odds of 1.02 on obvious favourite England to beat the Azzurri on Super Saturday, whilst the underdogs have a longshot 18. But if you want to even the playing field a little, and get slightly better odds on England, there’s always the handicap market. Here you’ll find England at (-25.5) 1.8, or Italy at (+25.5) 1.91. And you can always check out our trusted online sportsbooks in the UK to find out what other offers are available.