England unchanged for Italy

Date published: February 12 2015

England have stuck with the same starting XV that defeated Wales for this weekend's game at Twickenham against Italy.

Such consistency means both Saracens lock George Kruis and Bath centre Jonathan Joseph, who scored the match-clinching try last Friday against Wales, are handed their first starts at the home of England Rugby.

The same line-up of players on the replacements bench brings Harlequins number eight Nick Easter in line for a first Test on these shores for four years.

Similarly, Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani could end a six-and-a-half-year Twickenham hiatus with England, stretching back to a 42-6 defeat to South Africa in November 2008. 

Looking ahead to the visit of the Azzurri, England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It’s always good to be able to name an unchanged team and to build some consistency.

“We did the same last year after France heading into the Scotland game.

“Italy are going to be fired up. They always are when they come to Twickenham, especially after last week’s loss to Ireland.

“We know what’s coming at us but we have prepared well and are looking forward to getting back home to our fantastic supporters.”

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 James Haskell, 5 George Kruis, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Nick Easter, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

Date: Saturday, February 14
Kickoff: 14:30 GMT
Venue: Twickenham
Referee: Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)