England: Ben Youngs and Ben Curry dropped for Six Nations encounter with Italy

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

England centurion Ben Youngs is one of those to have paid the price for their 29-23 Calcutta Cup defeat to Scotland last weekend.

The scrum-half, who is the country’s most capped male player, was a key part of the squad during Eddie Jones’ tenure, but he has lasted just one match under Steve Borthwick having been dropped for this weekend’s clash against Italy.

Jack van Poortvliet started the game on Saturday with Youngs coming off the bench in the second period, but the 33-year-old struggled.

Poor kicking

His errant up and under in the 73rd minute, which went far too long, allowed the Scots to counter-attack and eventually led to the winning try.

He then, with England looking to respond and inside the opposition 22, kicked the ball away when his side had a penalty advantage.

Van Poortvliet has kept his place in the squad and he is joined by Northampton Saints scrum-half Alex Mitchell, who looks set to be among the replacements this weekend.

Elsewhere in the backline, Anthony Watson is missing from the reduced 29-man training group with youngster Henry Arundell straight back in after recovering from injury.

Centre duo make the cut

Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi also make it after being absent for their Six Nations opener against Scotland.

Up front, Ben Curry has been axed after missing a key tackle on Ben White, resulting in the scrum-half scoring a try.

That means Jack Willis is back involved and could be set to start against the Italians at Twickenham.

Willis will likely be competing with Ben Earl for the openside flanker berth.

Finally, Mako Vunipola has retained his place after fellow loosehead prop Bevan Rodd was released from the squad.

England’s 29-man training squad ahead of Italy Test

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Alex Dombrandt, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, David Ribbans, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis

Backs: Henry Arundell, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet

READ MORE: England: What went well, what went badly and what they need to change for the Six Nations clash with Italy

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