England make five changes for Six Nations Italy clash

Tom Croft
© PA Photos
England head coach Stuart Lancaster makes five changes to his side to face Italy in their penultimate Six Nations encounter.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has made five changes for Sunday's Six Nations encounter against Italy.

The Red Rose, who currently top the table with two games left to play in the tournament, welcome back flanker Tom Croft, who is named on the bench following 12 months out with a neck injury.

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola has been awarded his first start in the campaign, while Toby Flood enters the fray to replace injured Owen Farrell, who is struggling with a thigh strain.

Forwards James Haskell and Tom Youngs have been recalled to the squad, while Billy Vunipola has failed to secure a place within the replacements.

England team to play Italy:

A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins); T Flood (Leicester), D Care (Harlequins); M Vunipola (Saracens), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), G Parling (Leicester), J Haskell (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), T Wood (Northampton)

Replacements: D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), J Marler (Harlequins), C Lawes (Northampton), T Croft (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester), F Burns (Gloucester), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester)

Tom Croft
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