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Six Nations round 1 results

NatWest 6 Nations 2018: Wales 34-7 Scotland, Italy 15-46 England, France 13-15 Ireland

England opened their Six Nations title defense by soundly defeating Italy 15-46 in Rome. England's Anthony Watson and Sam Simmonds each scored two tries in the exciting win. Owen Farrell, George Ford, and Jack Nowell got the other tries late for England as the top rugby union side began their quest for glory and an unprecedented hat-trick of Six Nations titles. The champions got off to a great start by crossing twice through Anthony Watson inside the opening 10 minutes. Italy's whitewash was breached seven times in the bonus-point visit to the Stadio Olimpico. Italy's squad that included 9 starters with 10 caps or less were convincingly beaten by England in the opening round of the 2018 Six Nations in Rome. Italy will next travel to Dublin where they face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 10th February. Wales got their 2018 Six Nations campaign underway with a four-try victory against Scotland and will next travel to Twickenham Stadium to take on defending champions England on Saturday 10th February. Scotland fell apart in the battle against Wales in the opening match of the 2018 Six Nations in Cardiff. Scotland will look to turn things around when they host France at Murrayfield on Sunday 11th February. France lost to Ireland in the opening round of the 2018 Six Nations in Paris. France will now travel to Murrayfield where they face Scotland on Sunday 11th February. Ireland will return to the Aviva Stadium to play their next match against Italy on Saturday 10th February.

England coach Eddie Jones had urged his men to set the tone for their campaign by putting the Azzurri to the sword and they responded in a positive attack against Italy, leaking only two tries. England's Ben Youngs was forced off early in the ninth minute with a serious knee injury inflicted when the joint buckled during a tackle. Leicester captain Youngs screamed in pain and was driven from the pitch by the medical cart. As a result, Danny Care made his 77th Test appearance to equal Matt Dawson's record as England's most capped scrum-half. Having relied on only two players in the scrum-half position, Jones will now have to create a third option for that position in Young's absence. From the moment Watson ran in the opening try after 172 seconds, a 24th victory over Italy looked likely. George Ford sprung into action after Ben Te'o sent Watson over. The Bath wing's second took more finishing. Watson was able to touch down with an outstretched arm after Jonny May made the initial break in midfield. Italy's Tommaso Benvenuti ran on to a long pass by Allan to interrupt the flow of England's tries with a superb score, but soon after a gap appeared in midfield and Farrell went over. The Azzurri had hoped to mark lock Alessandro Zanni's 100th cap by recording a first win in the fixture. Italy generated plenty of possession but were met with a wall of determined white shirted strongmen. In the 52nd minute Italy's line-out defense disintegrated to allow Sam Simmonds to go through the middle and sprint over. Italy's ongoing push was rewarded when Mattia Bellini touched down in the left corner after England were exposed out wide for a second time. However, any hope of Italy winning expired when Farrell sent Ford over. The home side were falling apart in the face of their opponents' superior fitness, enabling Simmonds and Jack Nowell to earn late tries.

Rugby 6 nations - England
Round 1 results
Italy 15-46 England
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Sunday 4th February 2018
Attendance: 61,464

Upcoming fixtures

England v Wales
Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 10th February 2018
Kick Off: 4:45pm

Scotland v England
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Saturday 24th February 2018
Kick Off: 4:45pm

France v England
Stade de France, Paris
Saturday 10th March 2018
Kick Off: 4:45pm

England v Ireland
Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 17th March 2018
Kick Off: 2:45pm

Warren Gatland names Wales unchanged team v England Wales coach Warren Gatland says he hopes "a few people sit up and take a bit of notice" after Wales prepared for an England showdown by smashing Scotland. England, unbeaten at Twickenham since Eddie Jones took the top job two years ago, will be favorites to win next Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales. However Wales got off to a great start with their bonus point 34-7 victory against Scotland and they are targeting a possible first Six Nations title since 2013. "It is a mouth-watering fixture now because I don't think people were expecting us to win as comfortably as we did against Scotland," Wales head coach Gatland said. "I hope a few people sit up and take a bit of notice. It will make next week even more exciting. We have not been afraid of going there since I have been involved. We have had some good performances and results and victories against England. It is a great ground, and if you go there with confidence and self-belief, you hope to get something from it."

Wales were dismissed as 15-1 title outsiders before the tournament started, but those odds were quickly slashed following the four-try shredding of Scotland that saw Gatland's team deliver a blistering all-court game. "I knew we were in a good place and knew we had been training well," continued Gatland. "People had written us off. The team were disappointed with where we had finished last year (fifth), but you look at the 100-minute game in Paris and the lead Wales had in Cardiff against England - turn those two results around and it completely changes the table. This group of guys always work hard when they come in, and we were quietly confident we could put on a performance, given the way we had been training." Wales will be back in camp on Monday, with Gatland's selection options set to be enhanced by the availability after injury of wings George North, Liam Willams and Hallam Amos.Wales have an extra day's preparation than England, given that England played Italy in Rome on Sunday. "Potentially it (extra day) makes a big difference," Gatland said. "The travel day makes it tough, and England will have to monitor what they do next week. For us, it is about recovery and a rest day on Sunday and then focusing on work on Monday. I went back to New Zealand over Christmas and spoke to (All Blacks selector) Grant Fox. He said the hardest game they (New Zealand) had on the November tour was against Wales, and it was the best they played. I came away from that conversation feeling that we were not as far away as people thought we were." Wales have resisted the chance to recall George North despite him playing 80 minutes for club side Northampton Saints against Harlequins in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday night. Wales coach Warren Gatland has named an unchanged team to face England in the Six Nations Championship at Twickenham this weekend. The New Zealander coach has stayed with his starting XV from the 34-7 win over Scotland, not selecting fit-again wing George North who is on the bench. North takes the place of Ospreys center Owen Watkin among the replacements in the only change to the match squad. Worcester wing Josh Adams retains his place to win a second cap. Lock Cory Hill is still going through his head injury assessment after taking a blow in the win over Scotland and hopes to prove his fitness by being involved in full training on Thursday. Saracens back Liam Williams did not make the squad despite taking a full part in training on Monday. Gatland confirmed the British and Irish Lions full-back Williams will return to his club to play with Saracens facing Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday, 10 February.

"It's great to name an unchanged starting XV, the players deserve that for a very good performance on the opening weekend," said Gatland. "We have made one change on the bench, with George coming in for Owen Watkin, which is tough on Owen but Josh Adams picked up a slight strain last weekend so George provides us a bit more cover there. We know how tough it is going to be against that huge English forward pack. They are really going to test us. England have been in great form the last couple of years so we know the challenge we face but we have had a good couple of weeks in camp and we are looking forward to going up to Twickenham."

Wales team: Halfpenny (Scarlets); Adams (Worcester), S Williams (Scarlets), Parkes (Scarlets), S Evans (Scarlets); Patchell (Scarlets), G Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), Owens (Scarlets), Lee (Scarlets), Hill (Dragons), AW Jones (Ospreys capt), Shingler (Scarlets), Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Moriarty (Gloucester). Replacements: Dee (Dragons), W Jones (Scarlets), Francis (Exeter Chiefs), B Davies (Ospreys), Tipuric (Ospreys), A Davies (Scarlets), Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), North (Northampton).

Six Nations rugby 2018, Wales tickets, results

Round 1
Wales 34-7 Scotland
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 3rd February 2018
Attendance: 74,169

Upcoming fixtures

England v Wales
Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 10th February 2018
Kick Off: 4:45pm

Ireland v Wales
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Saturday 24th February 2018
Kick Off: 2:15pm

Wales v Italy
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Sunday 11th March 2018
Kick Off: 3:00pm

Wales v France
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 17th March 2018
Kick Off: 5:00pm

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