England team named to play Italy


Stuart Lancaster has named an unchanged England starting line-up for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

The XV who beat Wales at Twickenham are retained while there is just one change on the bench where Manu Tuilagi replaces Alex Goode.

Lancaster said: “It’s great to be able to name an unchanged XV and we have been able to achieve consistency of selection from a very competitive squad this campaign.

“The Wales result was very significant for us but we need to finish the tournament well in Rome. We have had a tight turnaround and the key this week has been to manage the players’ recovery and get them in the best shape for what will be a tough match against Italy.”

*UPDATE* Joe Marler has dropped out to be with his wife at the birth of his first child, so Mako Vunipola starts with Matt Mullan coming onto the bench.

England (updated, v Italy, RBS 6 Nations, Stadio Olimpico, Saturday, 12.30pm GMT)
15 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 25 caps)
14 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps)
13 Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 12 caps)
11 Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 5 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 23 caps)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 46 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 14 caps)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 54 caps)
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 18 caps)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 29 caps)
6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 27 caps)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 24 caps)
8 Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 19 caps)

16 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps)
17 Matt Mullan (London Wasps, 2 caps)
18 Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks, 5 caps)
19 Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
20 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps)
21 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, 15 caps)
22 George Ford (Bath Rugby, 1 cap)
23 Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 21 caps)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

27 thoughts on “England team named to play Italy

  1. Good to see consistency in selection,finally, especially across the back line. Shame we never got to see Yarde and/or Watson but I think this is the right choice.

  2. I’m really hoping we will be far enough ahead to bring Ford and Tuilagi on with 20 minutes to go, and see them create space and smash the defensive line.

    The question is, who does he take off for Tuilagi? Does he bring 36 off and move Burrell to 12? Take 6 off and play Tuilagi at 12? Straight swap for Burrell?

    I like the idea of playing Tuilagi at 12, with Burrell running lines off his shoulder.

    1. I reckon a straight swap for Burrell. Unless injured 12t is nailed on to start in NZ so SL will want them to have some game time together. That said maybe they will have practiced with either Manu or Burrell on the wing to test that as a contingency?

  3. Would like to see Ford and Tuilagi come on for Farrell and 36 in the second half if things are going well. I think 36 has been doing well as the second receiver, but I’d like Burrell to get a chance to show what he can do, as he does distribute well for Saints, and seems to have made the step up to International level almost seamlessly. Really interested to see how Tuilagi goes, whether he will try to demonstrate a wider skill set rather than simply charging through people.

    1. Personally think that 12Ts will stay on as this will take some pressure of Ford in his first proper game as first receiver. Therefore all things being equal, Ford and Tuilagi on for Burrell and Farrell at 60 mins.

        1. A bit. Flood spent a bit of time injured and that coincided with Allen being injured so 12trees and Ford would almost certainly have shared the field. 12trees and Manu played a lot together though, it was a good partnership.

          Agree with using 12trees to take the load off Ford, but generally using him to take the load off Farrell should happen more often, it’s what he’s good at and it’s silly to not use him effectively. Prior to the last game he mostly seemed to be being used as a Barrit substitute, which isn’t his forté

  4. If SL were really brave & stuck by his ‘yoof’ policy, why not start with Ford @ 1st 5?

    I mean it should be a cake walk for England shoudn’t it, what with all the improvement they’re making?

    And when’s he going to blood Ford? In June?

    And alos, what if, as Ashton asks, Farrell gets crocked… and then he also can’t play in NZ? Move Billy in?

    I shouldn’t mention this as last time the commentry about Attwood went on & on like a nun’s knickers, but when did he last play for England? When will he ever play for them again? Prob on Sat? I personally don’t care either way, but it must be tough for the guy sitting on the lonesome pine forever.

    Go Lancs, give the geezer a go. Even if it’s for the last 2 minutes. You know you want to!

    1. Attwood has played in all of our Six Nations matches so far, but you’d have to be crazy to break up the Launchbury/Lawes partnership. He’s unlucky to be playing in a position that we have some considerable strength, but the fact he’s on the bench shows how good he is.

    2. Freddie Burns made his debut against the ABs and that worked out all right ….

      2 starts and 5 appearances as a replacement in the last year for Attwood, not unreasonable for a 4th choice lock, probably not dissimilar to Luke Romano.

    3. If we get a comfortable 20 point cushion, I reckon Lancaster’s gonna empty the bench in the last quarter. It’s going to be the Autumn before he can have a good look at the current players again in England shirts (in a real game, where we’re not getting schooled by the All Blacks!)

      Also a lot of people are banging on about points difference, but I think we all know any hope of an England win is in the hands of the French. Who I reckon are due a blinder :-)

  5. I feel Lancaster should have gone with Ford starting for this game, yes there’s a lot pressure but Italy are about as poor a side as you come across in Int Rugby (along with Scotland). Would also liked to have seen Watson play a bit, and Attwood to start to, though I understand the why Lawes-Launchbury are playing, the more game time the two of them get the better they’y become. Perhaps giving Ben Youngs some gametime from the bench would have good too, as going forward I don’t think Dickson is half the player he is.

    Moan over… Lancaster has done a tremendous job, he has virtually got rid of the rif raff which bedevilled England for so long; Flood etc.

  6. Just saw on the BBC, Marler is having a kid, so Mako to start with Mullen on the bench. Shouldn’t cause any problem I think, don’t really see the Italian scrum causing too many problems… I hope

  7. England are very fortunate to have such strength in depth at loosehead. That Mullan is our 4th choice is pretty astonishing, and Waller in 5th is pretty handy too. Interesting that he made his debut against Italy few years back in the same fixture although if I recall he was playing hooker then?

    Wish we had such depth on the tight head side.

  8. Matt

    Where’s Freddie Burns now? If he worked out alright as you say, surely some game time as a potential replacement for Farrell in case the latter gets injured would be in order?

    Must have blinked regds Attwood.

    1. Sadly Burns is out of form this season (lost confidence playing in an underpeforming team), next season will be another matter. It doesn’t change the fact he had a great debut though.

      Attwood has had 50 mins so far, if you’ve missed that with your eyes closed it may help explain a lot of your opinions on England ;-)

  9. Will we again see this gluttonous race of Jutes and Angles dressed in imperial purple and gold tracksuits?

    Do they think they are some latter day faked substitute for the Emperor’s Praetorian Guard?

  10. Matt

    Owwwl! Bitchy.

    Don’t England have a soporific effect on you too?

    Did you see the Irish b/line on Sat? Spot the diff? That kept me (& you, I venture) awake!

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