Six Nations 2024: Ethan Roots and Fraser Dingwall to make England debuts against Italy

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Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 3 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra; live text on BBC Sport website and app; watch live on ITV

Ethan Roots and Fraser Dingwall will make their England debuts against Italy in Rome on Saturday on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Dingwall is named at inside centre alongside the returning Henry Slade and Roots will start at blind-side flanker.

The experienced George Ford will steer England’s attack from fly-half.

England head coach Steve Borthwick has also named the uncapped trio of Chandler Cunningham-South, Fin Smith and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso on the bench.

Hooker Jamie George’s tenure as captain will begin in Rome, while Tommy Freeman is rewarded for his impressive form in Northampton Saints’ charge to the top of the Premiership table with a starting berth on the wing.

“After an excellent week’s preparation in Girona, we look forward to the challenge of playing Italy in Rome,” said Borthwick.

“The Azzurri are a dangerous team, with some talented ball carriers and players who like to find space.

“We’ll need to make good decisions, keep our discipline, and maintain a level of intensity to our performance from the first whistle to the last.”

England: Steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Daly; Ford, Mitchell; Marler, George (capt), Stuart, Itoje, Chessum, Roots, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dan, Genge, Cole, Coles, Cunningham-South, Care, F Smith, Feyi-Waboso

More to follow.