"Italy have some very good players and also a very experienced coaching staff, so we know they'll be very well prepared", said Borthwick.
Italy's moment came shortly after the quarter mark when space opened down the English right and, with a penalty advantage, the hosts worked phases across the field for Tommaso Benvenuti to finish off a welcome try, converted by club team-mate Tomasso Allan.
Granted Simmonds's selection was hardly a surprise, given that Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes were out injured and alternative options at No 8 were thin on the ground.
Eddie Jones has handed Te'o only his second start in an England shirt - his previous coming in the corresponding fixture last season - and the British & Irish Lion will wear the No. 13 shirt as he partners Owen Farrell in the centres.
England, who have won all 24 games against Italy, lost halfback Ben Youngs in the first half when he suffered a knee injury.
Mattia Bellini went over for an unconverted try to pull Italy within 12 points with 20 minutes remaining, yet it only sparked a final-quarter onslaught from England.
The home side were falling apart in the face of their opponents' superior conditioning, enabling Simmonds and Jack Nowell to help themselves to late tries.
"This is worldwide rugby and these games are always intense encounters and we're expecting that intensity against Italy". When the game broke up at the end we were able to score tries.
It moved England top of the table after the first round of matches, with them and Wales both recording wide victories.
England is bidding to become the first team to win the tournament outright for three straight years.
More recently, the Azzurri, under the guidance of their Irish coach Conor O'Shea, embarrassed England with their no-ruck ploy at Twickenham past year before losing 36-15. I am stubborn. I am here for Italian rugby, to make it better, and hopefully we are seeing the beginnings of that.
"He talks a lot about doing more in less time, and that always means you're working very hard". There are still problems with England's back-row balance and they were troubled by an Italy trio that, as well as Sergio Parisse, contained two players who had three caps between them before kick-off. The Azzurri will hope to have their record-appearance holder fit for Saturday's match against Ireland in Dublin.