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First England start for Tigers prop Cole

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Dan Cole will make his first start for England in the second round of the RBS 6 Nations against Italy in Rome on Sunday.

The Leicester Tigers prop, 22, won his first cap as a replacement in the 30-17 win over Wales last weekend and takes over from David Wilson (Bath Rugby) in the starting XV against the Azzurri.

Tighthead Cole was ever-present for the England Saxons in 2009 and has impressed for Leicester this season.

Brive centre Riki Flutey, 30 today, also returns to the starting line-up after missing the 30-17 win over Wales in England’s opener last Saturday. He missed the opener with a dead leg sustained in training, but returns in place of Toby Flood.

England have not lost to Italy in 15 previous encounters and benefit from some consistency in selection with 13 players who started against Wales retained in Italy, including Leicester Tigers flanker Lewis Moody who gains his 58th cap.

England team manager Martin Johnson has included Tigers duo Louis Deacon and Toby Flood among the replacements.

Tigers trio Jordan Crane, Dan Hipkiss and Ben Youngs were among the players who were released back to their clubs on Tuesday evening.

15 Delon Armitage
14 Mark Cueto
13 Mathew Tait
12 Riki Flutey
11 Ugo Monye
10 Jonny Wilkinson
9 Danny Care
1 Tim Payne
2 Dylan Hartley
3 Dan Cole
4 Simon Shaw
5 Steve Borthwick (c)
6 James Haskell
7 Lewis Moody
8 Nick Easter

16 Steve Thompson
17 David Wilson
18 Matthew Mullan
19 Louis Deacon
20 Steffon Armitage
21 Paul Hodgson
22 Toby Flood