15. Ben Foden – 7
Looking more and more assured as England’s last line of defence. Always looks threatening with ball in hand and is a real asset to the backline.
14. Chris Ashton – 9
It might depend on your stance on swallowgate, but I think it’s great to see someone playing with so much pride and enjoyment in an England jersey. Score four tries and you won’t get less than a 9 in these ratings.
13. Mike Tindall – 7
A reasonable game from Tindall, and even he looked threatening in the face of a weak Italian defence. Certainly not the worst centre in England’s backline.
12. Shontayne Hape – 5
Surely it’s time to look for a better option at 12? Even when everyone else in the England backline was running amok, he still managed to look like a blunt weapon in attack.
11. Mark Cueto – 7
At last! Cueto was on the scoresheet for the first time in ages, putting the icing on another strong performance. He’s been playing well for some time, and maybe now the floodgates will open.
10. Toby Flood – 9
What a pleasure it is to watch Flood in action these days. Plays right on the gainline and seems to have found a knack for making line-break after line-break. Can he do it against the French?
9. Ben Youngs – 8
Classic sharp, sniping performance from England’s standout scrum-half and should take a lot of credit for the pace at which England seem to be playing. Looking forward to his showdown with Morgan Parra.
1. Alex Corbisiero – 8
A second impressive debut in as many weeks. Corbisiero held his own in the scrum against a wise old Italian front row, and immediately looked at home at international level.
2. Dylan Hartley – 7
Another fine performance in the lineout which had been a concern prior to the tournament. He also seems to be easing any worries over his temperament as well.
3. Dan Cole – 8
Outshone his club colleague in Martin Castrogiovanni, with a solid scrummaging performance and a more prominent contribution in the loose than we’ve seen.
4. Louis Deacon – 6
I can’t get too carried away with any of Deacon’s performances, and this was fairly unremarkable. England’s lineout was good, but he’s only keeping the jersey warm until Courtney Lawes returns.
5. Tom Palmer – 8
The gradual revelation of Palmer as a top class lock continued this weekend. A wonderful defender getting through countless tackles, in addition to doing the hard yards required of a second row.
6. Tom Wood – 8
People have started whispering comparisons to Richard Hill. Don’t say it too loudly just yet, but he does have a tendency to be everywhere. Offers a strong lineout option, and will make life difficult for Moody and Croft when they are fully fit.
7. James Haskell – 8
Seems to compensates for fairly minimal rugby nous by being a fine professional rugby specimen. Used his power and explosiveness well for a couple of good runs and a well-taken try.
8. Nick Easter – 7
This sort of loose game doesn’t necessarily suit Nick Easter, but I’ve always wanted to see him looking for the offload in contact, because he does have great hands. Can he do it against the top sides?