- Manu Tuilagi replaces Alex Goode in the match day squad for Italy
- “Manu’s power and physicality makes him the right choice” – Lancaster
Photo: Getty Images
Manu Tuilagi has been named in the England squad to travel to face Italy in the RBS 6 Nations finale at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday afternoon.
The powerful centre, who has played one game for Leicester Tigers after returning from a pectoral tear, replaces Alex Goode for the game which will help to decide the destination of the RBS 6 Nations title.
England, who clinched the Triple Crown with a 29-18 victory over Wales on Sunday, need a huge win in Rome to overhaul a 49-point deficit to Ireland, if Joe Schimidt’s side can record their fourth victory of the campaign in Paris later on Saturday evening.
With the potential need to rack up the points against the Azzurri, Stuart Lancaster said Tuilagi’s obvious qualities of power and physicality made him the right choice, while admitting Goode is unlucky.
“Manu trained well with us last week and today and is up to speed with the way we want to play,” he said. “Alex has done well for us off the bench and is naturally disappointed but we believe Manu, with the power and physicality he can bring, is the right choice to be included in the 23 for this game.”
Matt Mullan (London Wasps) and Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby) will travel with the squad on Thursday afternoon as 24th and 25th men.
Lancaster also paid tribute to the members of his RBS 6 Nations squad who have not been in his match day squads and said there will be opportunities for many of the fringe players on the upcoming three-Test, four-game tour to New Zealand this June.
He added: “Every member of the squad has contributed to the cause over the last seven weeks and those not involved this weekend deserve massive credit for the way they have trained and pushed hard for places. There will be opportunities down the line, not least on the tour to New Zealand, and they can further stake their claims for that trip with strong performances for their clubs.”
England squad for Italy (23)
David Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Returning to Aviva Premiership clubs (9)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)