England have named an unchanged starting XV for the second RBS 6 Nations rugby match in a row for the first time since the France and Scotland matches in 2009, when they named the same starting lineup for this weekend’s RBS 6 Nations 2012 second round match away at Italy.
The decision, which comes as head coach Stuart Lancaster looks to build some continuity through his youthful squad – 7 of last week’s Calcutta Cup winning squad won their first cap in that fixture – may see England playing with more fluency than in last week’s slightly haltering performance.
“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.”
The only uncapped player who remains in the squad is London Wasps’ Rob Webber. Joe Simpson (London Wasps) and Joe Marler (Harlequins) will travel to Italy as reserves.
England Starting XV to Face Italy, RBS 6 Nations 2012
- 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)
- 16 Rob Webber (London Wasps)*
- 17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
- 18 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
- 9 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
- 20 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
- 21 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
- 22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)
* Denotes uncapped player.
Italy v England will kick-off at 17:00 CET (16:00 GMT) on the afternoon of Saturday 11th February 2012, in Stadio Olimpico, Rome.