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VIDEO – Lancaster names unchanged 22 for Italy

09 February 2012

  • Stuart Lancaster gives team "another chance to gel"
  • Chris Robshaw captains unchanged 22

England today named an unchanged 22 to play Italy in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match at Stadio Olimpico.

Seven players were capped for the first time in the Calcutta Cup win over Scotland and the same starting XV and bench will travel to Rome.

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "We have had a good week in spite of the weather and reflected on the game, reviewed and learnt from it and will look to improve the quality of our performance this week.

"We have decided to leave the starting team the same to allow them more time to gel together and we are expecting our bench to come on and make an impact as they did last week. Italy will be a very difficult challenge with nearly 700 caps in their starting line-up and it promises to be an outstanding occasion at the sold-out Stadio Olimpico."

England travel to Rome in the echo of a 13-6 win against Scotland last weekend. Lancaster's side offered solid defence at Murrayfield but it is in attack where he is looking for improvement.

"Where we struggled at points against Scotland we didn't retain enough quality possession so [attacking play] starts upfront in any team but it then runs through your halfbacks and the information that comes from outside through your nine and ten is crucial. We need to make sure we give ourselves more time with the ball and less time defending.

"We go from one big game to another and all focus now comes to Italy away." 

England Team to face Italy

15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Brad Barritt (Saracens)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens)
11 David Strettle (Saracens)
10 Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
8 Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)

Replacements

16 Rob Webber (London Wasps)*
17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
18 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
19 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
20 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
21 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)

*uncapped