Care starts as England look to complete Italian job

England's Danny Care is back in the starting line-up for the visit of Italy.
England's Danny Care is back in the starting line-up for the visit of Italy.
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Danny Care makes his first start of the Six Nations as England look to continue their grand slam quest against Italy at twickenham.

Leeds-born 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).

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola will make his first England start. Vunipola, who won his first seven Test caps as a high-impact replacement, replaces Joe Marler at loosehead.

Tom Croft, the Leicester flanker, who returns to the England fold 11 months after a broken neck almost left him paralysed.

Croft made his comeback for Leicester on January 4 and he rejoined the England squad after being given medical clearance to play every week.

Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby) joins him among the replacements as Farrell needs more time to return to full fitness.

Head 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.”