Lancaster survives his ‘mad five minutes’

England’s interim coach Stuart Lancaster was proud of the resolve his side showed in bouncing back from a “mad five minutes” to beat Italy 19-15 in freezing Rome.

“We are delighted to get the win. We started well but then had a mad five minutes and came in down at half-time,” said Lancaster.

“The most pleasing thing from that point of view was there was no sense of panic.”

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Addressing what changed after the break, Lancaster said: “We felt there were one or two areas to work on, particularly trying to move the ball, get the ball to the 10 early and get more intensity and tempo in the game.

“We were pleased to do that in the second half and delighted by the contribution the bench made. I thought Lee Dickson and Ben Morgan made a great impact.

“Owen (Farrell) was fantastic in terms of his temperament and his ability to step up and take those kicks, which kept our scoreboard ticking on. We talked during the week about trying to increase the tempo and intensity in the game.

“I thought Italy played extremely well and put us under a lot of pressure. They were very difficult conditions to play in.

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“Overall we are pleased to get the win and looking forward to getting to Twickenham to play Wales in two weeks’ time.

“Our aim is to improve week-on-week. It was probably less than three weeks ago we met as a group and started training together. We are still building and learning as we go. There will be a lot to take out of this performance and review.”

Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes have returned to England’s squad after missing the victories over Scotland and Italy.

Tuilagi, the Leicester centre, and Northampton lock Lawes will be among 30 players who will meet up for training at England’s Pennyhill Park base today.

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Tuilagi made his comeback from a hamstring injury in Leicester’s Premiership defeat to Exeter.

Tigers fly-half Toby Flood also rejoins the England squad, having been released last week to get some game time under his belt following a knee ligament injury.

Lawes started for Northampton after shaking off a knee problem.