Italy too soon for Parling

Date published: February 10 2015

England second row Geoff Parling will not be available for this weekend's Six Nations match with Italy at Twickenham.

The Leicester forward had previously been tipped to make a return from the bench against the Azzurri, but his knee injury will keep him out of Saturday's game.

England used a new pairing of Dave Attwood and George Kruis in Cardiff to good effect last Friday, with Nick Easter and Tom Croft providing cover from the bench.

The same four players are expected to be involved once more as England lean towards an unchanged matchday 23.

“He trained yesterday and didn’t complete the session and unfortunately for Geoff he is not going to be available for this weekend,” England forwards coach Graham Rowntree told reporters at Pennyhill Park.

“We will see how he recovers in the next few days.

“If we are going same again, I would be happy with that. We would rather be hamstrung by bench positions – we are picking guys on the bench who can cover many positions."