England v Italy - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 10th March 2013  

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England coach Stuart Lancaster insists his changes will not have a detrimental effect in the RBS Six Nations clash with Italy at Twickenham on Sunday.

Lancaster has made five changes to his starting line-up following the victory over France two weeks ago.

Three changes in the pack see full debutant Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs and James Haskell brought in, while Danny Care partners Toby Flood in a new pair of halves.

"They (Care and Ben Youngs) are unbelievably close. They are both high-quality players, in great form and in great condition and pushing each other," Lancaster said.

"Danny Care has waited patiently for his opportunity. In freshening the team up, sometimes when you have a guy who is desperate to play that can help the team."

Vunipola and Tom Youngs both made strong impressions off the bench against France, tightening up an English defence in the closing stages.

Lancaster added: "Mako gets his first start and everyone is delighted with that. He has thoroughly deserved his chance and we are looking forward to seeing how he goes."

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has altered his side even more, opting for seven changes including the return of skipper Sergio Parisse after his suspension was reduced.

Luciano Orquera returns at fly-half and will hope for a return to the form that saw him inspire the Azzurri to a memorable victory against France on the opening weekend.

Italy are predictably massive underdogs heading into the clash having never beaten England and anything other than a win for the Grand Slam hopefuls would be classed as one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history.

England: 15 A Goode, 15 C Ashton, 13 M Tuilagi, 12 B Barritt, 11 M Brown, 10 T Flood, 9 D Care, 8 T Wood, 7 C Robshaw, 6 J Haskell, 5 G Parling, 4 J Launchbury, 3 D Cole, 2 T Youngs, 1 M Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 D Hartley, 17 D Wilson, 18 J Marler, 19 C Lawes, 20 T Croft, 21 B Youngs, 22 F Burns, 23 B Twelvetrees.

Italy: 15 A Masi, 14 G Venditti, 13 G Canale, 12 G Garcia, 11 L McLean, 10 L Orquera, 9 E Gori, 8 S Parisse, 7 R Barbieri, 6 A Zanni, 5 J Furno, 4 Q Geldenhuys, 3 M Castrogiovanni, 2 L Ghiraldini, 1 A De Marchi.

Replacements: 16 D Giazzon, 17 A Lo Cicero, 18 L Cittadini, 19 A Pavanello, 20 F Minto, 21 S Favaro, 22 T Botes, 23 T Benvenuti.

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