Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Kick-Off: Saturday 11 Feb 2012 16:00 GMT

After England’s success against Scotland, (13-6) Stuart Lancaster, the squad’s head coach has named the same starting line up against Italy.
 

Seven of the player’s actually made their international debut at Murrayfield giving the ‘inexperienced’ individuals another chance to show the Coach what they can do.

Lancaster made the point he was confident with the current team the way it is; ‘We have decided to leave the starting team the same to allow them more time to get together, and we are expecting the bench to come on and make an impact as they did last week.’

Unlike England, Italy have started on a low after losing away to France 30-12, under Coach Jacques Brunel. However they are well known to be a tough side on their home turf which could prove difficult for England.

Currently there are a few members of the team out of action after enduring injuries in previous games. Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi have been given time off to improve their fitness levels, but it is looking hopeful they will make a return on the 25th February against Wales.

Lee Dickson, (scrum-half) will be on the bench after recovering from a hand injury but there is hope he may make a short appearance during the game. Whilst Charlie Hodgson will continue his fly-half position after a shoulder injury.

Northampton players Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood missed the opening of the tournament after an injury and are currently being kept on the sidelines. 

These may be considered set backs for England, and Lancaster has pointed out that both himself and the team are aware of Italy’s abilities: ‘Italy will be a very difficult challenge with nearly 700 caps in their starting line-up and it promises to be an outstanding occasion at the sold-out Stadio Olimpico.’

He continued; ‘Where we struggled at points against Scotland we didn't retain enough quality possession. We need to make sure we give ourselves more time with the ball and less time defending.’

English rugby fans will certainly be getting excited if the team are victorious, and the morale will certainly not suffer for the big game against Wales. 
 


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