The new look England team travel to a freezing Rome, most of the team for the first time. The match which kicks-off at 16:00 UK time in the Stadio Olimpico, Rome on Saturday, 11 February, will be a real challenge for the visitors as Italy competed well with France last week. The game is televised live on BBC One.
The new England captain Chris Robshaw said: (quote)They will want to go out and prove they are a rugby force, coming to Italy, to their capital, is not easy and they are getting better year on year. We have no illusions about what it is going to be like,” added Robshaw. We will have to front up. We are under no illusions, we know what passion is coming. It is about going toe-to-toe with each other. Italy are always a very physical and passionate side, they will hold the ball through phases and they will have a go through the forwards. Last week’s win showed the character of our guys. When you go away from home it is you against a whole nation. (end quote)
England coach Lancaster has named an unchanged team for the game in the Stadio Olimpico.
Italy : 15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Tommaso Benvenuti, 12-Gonzalo Canale, 11-Luke McLean, 10-Kris Burton, 9-Edoardo Gori; 1-Andrea Lo Cicero, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3-Martin Castrogiovanni, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 5-Marco Bortolami, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 7-Robert Barbieri, 8-Sergio Parisse (capt)
Replacements:16-Tommaso D’Apice, 17-Lorenzo Cittadini, 18-Antonio Pavanello, 19-Mauro Bergamasco, 20-Fabio Semenzato, 21-Tobias Botes, 22-Luca Morisi
England : 15-Ben Foden, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Brad Barritt, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-David Strettle, 10-Charlie Hodgson, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Alex Corbisiero, 2-Dan Cole, 3-Dylan Hartley, 4-Mouritz Botha, 5-Tom Palmer, 6-Tom Croft , 7-Chris Robshaw (capt), 8-Phil Dowson
Replacements:16-Rob Webber, 17-Matt Stevens, 18-Geoff Parling, 19-Ben Morgan, 20-Lee Dickson, 21-Jordan Turner-Hall, 22-Mike Brown
Referee : Jerome Garces (FRA)
Touch judges : Alain Rolland (IRE) & Neil Paterson (SCO)
TV : Tony Redmond (IRE)