Mako called in for Italian job

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:14
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Mako Vunipola will make his first start for England in Sunday's Six Nations match against Italy at Twickenham Stadium.

Mako Vunipola will make his first start for England in Sunday's Six Nations match against Italy at Twickenham Stadium.

The Saracens prop, who has won seven caps off the bench, replaces Joe Marler (Harlequins) in one of five changes from the side that started against France.

Danny Care (Harlequins) and Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) take over at halfback from Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) and Owen Farrell (Saracens) respectively; Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers) comes in for Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints); and James Haskell (London Wasps) is named at blindside flanker in place of Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints).

Tom Croft of Leicester Tigers is back in the England matchday squad for the first time in 12 months following his recovery from a neck injury, while Freddie Burns (Gloucester) joins him among the replacements as Farrell needs more time to return to full fitness.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said: "We were very happy with the way we finished the France game.

"The impact the replacements made shows that we have competition for places across the board and we have had to make some tight calls.

"Italy will be highly motivated for this game and we will have to perform for the full 80 minutes. I am sure those starting will seize their chance and the bench will also have a significant part to play as the game goes on.  

"The support at Twickenham for the Scotland and France games was superb and I am sure the atmosphere will be fantastic again for our final home match of the Championship."

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 David Wilson, 18 Joe Marler, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

Date: Sunday, March 10
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
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Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
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Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SIX NATIONS
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Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1