England’s cavalry are coming

Date published: February 8 2015

Geoff Parling, Kyle Eastmond and Brad Barritt are all set to be available for selection for England ahead of next week’s clash with Italy.

How much head coach Stuart Lancaster wants to change a winning squad from Cardiff is up for debate, but the England boss won’t complain at having more options to choose from.

Dave Attwood and George Kruis were excellent in the second row against Wales, while Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph also paired up to good effect.

“For me this is just one match. I’ve been in charge of three Championships now and finished second each time, so I won’t be getting carried away,” said Lancaster.

“‘I’ll be getting the players’ feet back on the ground on Monday and saying we need to be better for Italy.

“It’s hard to put a rating on victories because they’re all important when you’re in charge of a national team, but it’s certainly right up there because of the experience we had two years ago.

“We know how difficult it is to come here and win and we know how good their team is.

“We have a huge amount of respect for what they’ve achieved in the past, so to come here and get the win is big for us.

“The defeat two years ago was felt really deeply. There were a lot of players who played in that game who wanted to give the England supporters, who were fantastic, something to cheer about.”