Six Nations

From a Vauxhall to a BMW - Jones hopes to upgrade Itoje

England head coach Eddie Jones hopes to transform Maro Itoje from a "Vauxhall into a BMW" after naming him in the side to face Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday.

Uncapped Saracens forward Itoje is in line for an England debut, having been named as a replacement for the match at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Jones suggested he has the 21-year-old, able to play at lock and blindside flanker, in his long-term plans and is eager to help polish his game and turn him into a regular in the side.

"Maro is a young kid, with a good head, he's a Vauxhall Viva and we want to make him a BMW," the Australian said. "He's got a lot of work to do, but he has a lot of potential."

"When you climb up the ladder, you have to take each step at a time as if you miss one step, you will fall abruptly.

"We think the 23 can do a job, the 6-2 split [between forwards and backs on the bench] suits how we want to play."

Jones highlighted number eight Sergio Parisse as a threat to be nullified if England are to avoid a first Six Nations defeat to Italy.

"[Parisse] is their talisman, he looks to do so much and he is a guy we will go after. I'm sure every team does the same, he is a good player.

"We have to make sure Italy don't make that step. It's a fantastic city, I don't know much about the rugby ground, we'll find out on Sunday."