KEIGHLEY'S Ellie Kildunne scored one of England's seven tries as they opened their Women's Six Nations title defence with a 42-7 win over hosts Italy.

The former Rose Cottage junior was making her first appearance in the competition at full back and scored the visitors' sixth try as they dominated the second half.

The teams went in at half-time level at 7-7, the Italians having replied to Sarah Bern's early try through a Valentina Ruzza effort.

But captain Sarah Hunter scored three tries as the defending champions England powered clear after the break in Reggio Emilia.

As well as Hunter's hat-trick, Poppy Cleall and Abigail Dow also crossed the whitewash. Katy Daley-Mclean, who converted two of the seven tries, had put England back in front with a penalty.

England's second match of the tournament will see them host Wales on Saturday.