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Red Roses: England will fix Six Nations errors, says captain Packer

PARMA, ITALY - MARCH 24: Marlie Packer of England enters the pitch to make her 100th appearance during the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between Italy and England at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on March 24, 2024 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)
PARMA, ITALY - MARCH 24: Marlie Packer of England enters the pitch to make her 100th appearance during the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between Italy and England at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on March 24, 2024 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

The Red Roses’s centurion captain Marlie Packer insisted her side will fix what went wrong in their Women’s Six Nations opener despite her England side beating Italy 48-0 yesterday having been down a player for 69 minutes.

England overcame an 11th minute Sarah Beckett red card for a dangerous rucking move on Italy centre Michela Sillari in Parma to get their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start.

The Red Roses, for whom this campaign is John Mitchell’s first as head coach since taking over from former boss Simon Middleton late last year, are chasing a sixth consecutive title and a 13th Grand Slam in the Six Nations era.

Red Roses on top

“[I am happy with] the way the team performed today in the fact that we went down to thirteen players at one point, the courage that they showed, the way they played,” Packer said.

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“We had a few soft errors in there but we said we were going to let off the handbrake and we definitely did that as a Red Roses team.

“This is the first game of the tournament [and we have] Wales next week. We will put some work together this week and hopefully what went wrong today, we’ll fix it for next week.”

England’s eight tries came from props Hannah Botterman and Mackenzie Carson, lock Abbie Ward, centre Helena Rowland, hookers Lark Atkin-Davies and Connie Powell and full-back Ellie Kildunne – who crossed the whitewash twice for a brace.

Italy came close a number of times but were unable to breach the England defence despite being up a player for much of the match – England spent 10 minutes with 13 players on the pitch after Rowland received a yellow card in the 68th minute.

England take on Wales at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate next week before matches against Scotland in Edinburgh, Ireland at Twickenham and France in Bordeaux.