Wigan Athletic Academy graduate makes his mark on international stage
and live on Freeview channel 276
England’s Elite League squad - effectively the old Under-20s - were beaten 3-0 in front of almost 5000 noisy fans in South Yorkshire.
But Hughes played the full 90 minutes at the heart of the defence, with team-mate Martial Godo - on loan from Premier League Fulham - coming on for his debut on the hour mark.
There was a third Latics link, with Academy product Alfie Devine - who joined Tottenham in the summer of 2020 - also playing the full game.
Luis Hasa put Italy ahead eight minutes before the break, with substitute Filippo Missori heading home three minutes from time.
There was still time for the Italians to add a third goal, with Missori being fouled in the box and Hasa converting the penalty in the last minute.
England: 1 James Beadle (Oxford, loan from Brighton), 2 Jadel Katongo (Peterborough, loan from Manchester City), 3 Lewis Hall (Newcastle, loan from Chelsea), 4 Adam Wharton (Blackburn), 5 Charlie Hughes (Wigan Athletic), 6 Ronnie Edwards (Peterborough) (c ), 7 Samuel Bell (Bristol City), 8 Archie Gray (Leeds), 9 Dane Scarlett (Ipswich, loan from Tottenham), 10 Alfie Devine (Port Vale, loan from Tottenham), 11 Samuel Edozie (Southampton)
Substitutes: 16 Oliver Arblaster (Port Vale, loan from Sheffield United) for Wharton 62, 17 Martial Godo (Wigan Athletic, loan from Fulham) for Bell 62, 19 Mateo Joseph (Leeds) for Scarlett 70, 12 Ryan Andrews (Watford) for Katongo 81, 14 Luke Chambers (Liverpool) for Gray 81, 18 Darko Gyabi (Leeds) for Edozie 81