Planet Rugby



Tuilagi on England bench for Rome

13th March 2014 09:29


manu tuilagi england

Weapon: Manu Tuilagi

England will have the luxury of bringing Manu Tuilagi off the bench in Rome as they look to keep their title hopes alive against Italy.

The starting XV who beat Wales at Twickenham on Sunday are retained, with the only change coming on the bench where Tuilagi of Leicester Tigers replaces Saracens full-back Alex Goode.

Should he take the field, this weekend will see the 22 year-old Tuilagi win his 22nd cap. Despite not representing England since last March, he already has 10 Test tries to his name.

"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," said England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

"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."

England can still win the Championship if they win and France beat Ireland in Paris later on the same day. Alternatively, they would have to overturn the points difference between them and Joe Schmidt's team, which is currently worth 49.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 David Attwood, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 George Ford, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

Date: Saturday, February 15
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kickoff: 14:30 (local, 13:30 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzčre (France)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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