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Flood starts for England v Italy

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Toby Flood will make his first start of this season's Six Nations when England take on Italy at Twickenham on Sunday (kick-off 3pm)

Flood, the most capped player in the England squad, will make his 56th international appearance when he takes over from Owen Farrell at fly-half.

Flood's Leicester Tigers teammate Tom Youngs returns to the starting XV to face Martin Castrogiovanni's Italy, replacing Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) at hooker. There are also starts for Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Manu Tuilagi.

Tom Croft is named in an England matchday squad for the first time in 12 months following his recovery from a neck injury. Croft takes his place on the bench alongside Ben Youngs, who makes way for Danny Care (Harlequins) at scrum-half.

Castro wins his 95th cap for the Azzurri, who welcome back captain Sergio Parisse from suspension.

In all, England make five changes from the side that started against France. There is a first start for Mako Vunipola (Saracens), who replaces Joe Marler (Harlequins) at prop. James Haskell (London Wasps) takes over from Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) in the back row.

England 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.”

England (v Italy, Sunday, 3pm, Twickenham Stadium, live on BBC One)
15 Alex Goode (Saracens, 9 caps)
14 Chris Ashton (Saracens, 32 caps)
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps)
12 Brad Barritt (Saracens, 14 caps)
11 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 14 caps)
10 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 39 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 7 caps)
2 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 38 caps)

4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 7 caps) 
5 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps) 
6 James Haskell (London Wasps, 48 caps) 
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 15 caps) 
8 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 16 caps) 

16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 45 caps)
17. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)
18. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 8 caps)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 18 caps)
20. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps)

22. Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)

15 Andrea Masi
14 Giovanbattista Venditti
13 Gonzalo Canale
12 Gonzalo Garcia
11 Luke McLean
10 Luciano Orquera
9 Edoardo Gori
1 Alberto de Marchi
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Quintin Geldenhuys
5 Joshua Furno
6 Alessandro Zanni
7 Robert Barbieri
8 Sergio Parisse

16 Davide Giazzon
17 Andrea Lo Cicero
18 Lorenzo Cittadini
19 Antonio Pavanello
20 Francesco Minto
21 Simone Favaro
22 Tobias Botes
23 Tommaso Benvenuti