England lose nothing but gain little with final warm-up in Newcastle

Eddie Jones made early tweaks before England thrashed Italy 37-0 at St James’ Park in their last action before the World Cup They say to always leave them wanting more and there can be little doubt England managed that . This was a first home Test against a tier one nation away from Twickenham for a decade but the Newcastle crowd were starved of much to shout about to mark the occasion until a late flurry of points. When some of the biggest cheers of the night are for Italy choosing to kick to the corner – England had been booed for not doing so earlier – it is clear the Newcastle faithful were not witnessing a classic performance. In truth it came nowhere near the intensity and panache with which England have dispatched Wales and Ireland on home soil in these warm-up matches. Indeed, after that record-breaking win over Ireland Billy Vunipola explained how England had to learn to perform without the “comforts of our home” at Twickenham. There remains work to do on that front. Continue reading...

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