Six Nations 2014: England prop Joe Marler a doubt for Italy game with partner due to give birth

Stuart Lancaster keeps faith with the team that saw off Wales last weekend

England have named Manu Tuilagi on the bench for their final match of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

Tuilagi will make his first appearance for England in a year after recovering from the torn pectoral muscle that kept him out for six months.

The British and Irish Lion has played just 70 minutes for his club Leicester since regaining fitness, but head coach Stuart Lancaster deems him ready for England's final assault on the title.

Tuilagi can cover centre and wing and has replaced Alex Goode on the bench in the only change to the 23 that defeated champions Wales 29-18 on Sunday.

"It's great to be able to name an unchanged XV and we have been able to achieve consistency of selection in a very competitive squad this campaign," Lancaster said.

With Goode removed from the bench, wings Jack Nowell and Jonny May are on standby to provide cover for Mike Brown at full-back if needed.

Tuilagi could have been fast-tracked into the matchday 23 that secured the Triple Crown against Wales at Twickenham, but Lancaster felt he needed another week in camp before being plunged into action.

England head to Rome with the primary objective of defeating Italy, but must also overhaul Ireland's imposing points superiority in case the Six Nations title is decided by that measure.

Manu Tuilagi has returned to the England squad after injury Manu Tuilagi has returned to the England squad after injury  

France also remain in the hunt for Wales' crown - they host Brian O'Driscoll's men in Paris in the climax to the tournament - but with Ireland 49 ahead of England on points difference, they have established a near-unassailable lead.

Mindful of the explosive impact Tuilagi could have on a tiring Italian defence, Lancaster has called up the destructive 22-year-old to reinforce the final push for the first major piece of silverware of his two-year reign as head coach.

 

England, who have finished Six Nations runners-up for the last two seasons, need a deluge of tries at the Stadio Olimpico and it is hoped Tuilagi's power will be influential in the attempted points grab.

"The Wales result was very significant for us but we need to finish the tournament well in Rome," Lancaster said.

"We have had a tight turnaround and the key this week has been to manage the players' recovery and get them in the best shape for what will be a tough match against Italy."

Wasps prop Matt Mullan and Bath centre Kyle Eastmond will travel with the squad to Rome as 24th and 25th men.

Lancaster announced there could be a late change to the line-up as the partner of loosehead prop Joe Marler is due to give birth to their first child.

If Marler is unable to make it to Rome in time for the captain's run on Friday afternoon, Mako Vunipola will be promoted to the starting XV with Mullan taking his position on the bench.

"Joe's partner is in labour as we speak so we're waiting to see how that goes. We'll make a decision on Friday," Lancaster said.

"He's got to be at the captain's run. I spoke to Joe this morning and the good thing is we have a British and Irish Lion on the bench in Mako, who wants to start.

"Matt played in the autumn internationals and is a good player to come in on the bench."

Lancaster is pleased that Tuilagi is available to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

"Manu has had that extra week's training he needed, so he's ready. He's a good player," he said.

England prevailed 19-15 in Rome two years ago and 18-11 in the return fixture at Twickenham last season - two narrow wins that have made Lancaster cautious over targeting anything other than victory.

"Winning is the priority. We went to Rome two years ago and it was very difficult," he said.

"Italy beat France in the Six Nations last year and Ireland struggled.

"Even Australia struggled in 2012. It's not an easy place to go and get points, and we know what's coming.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to finish the Six Nations on a high. We want to back up our recent good performances.

"The character we've shown throughout has been outstanding. The attitude has been the best I've known."

ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE ITALY

M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), L Burrell (Northampton), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester), J May (Gloucester); O Farrell (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Thomas (Sale), D Attwood (Bath), T Johnson (Exeter), L Dickson (Northampton), G Ford (Bath), M Tuilagi (Leicester).

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone