England veteran Ben Youngs dropped for Italy clash

England have dropped their most capped men’s player for Sunday’s clash with Italy after Ben Youngs was left out of a reduced training squad.

Youngs, 33, produced a disappointing performance off the bench in the Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland that opened the Guinness Six Nations and has paid the price by losing his place to Alex Mitchell in the 29-man group that will step up preparations for the Azzurri showdown.

Youngs is the only member of the starting XV to be omitted by head coach Steve Borthwick with his spot taken by Jack Willis, pointing to a recall for the Toulouse openside.

Also missing is Anthony Watson, who played 15 minutes as a replacement against Scotland with Henry Arundell taking his place as the London Irish try-scoring sensation prepares to be make his comeback after missing the autumn because of an ankle issue.