Six Nations 2017: Ben Te'o to start for England against Italy
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
|Six Nations: England v Italy|
|Venue: Twickenham Date: Sunday, 26 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary|
Ben Te'o will make his first start for England in Sunday's Six Nations match with Italy.
Te'o, 30, has won five caps as a replacement, but has been named at outside centre for the meeting with the Azzurri.
Danny Care partners George Ford at half-back, with Owen Farrell at inside centre and Elliot Daly on the wing.
"Ben Te'o at 13 gives us another way of playing the game," said head coach Eddie Jones.
"We are excited about seeing him, George Ford and Owen Farrell play together in the midfield."
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Care last started for England in the Grand Slam showdown with France in Paris a year ago.
"Ben Youngs has been outstanding for us at number nine, but Danny Care gets the starting jersey this week," added Jones.
"For the first half he'll give us a lot of speed and running at the base of the ruck as well as the scrum. Ben will then come on and finish the game."
Elsewhere wing Jonny May and flanker James Haskell both return to the starting XV, as Jones makes four changes from the side that beat Wales.
Haskell came off the bench in the wins over France and Wales.
"Tom Wood has been great for us at seven, and Jack Clifford did well against Wales but James Haskell has the starting role on Sunday; he has come back to a much better level of fitness and we are sure his explosive actions will help us in the first part of the game," Jones continued.
Mako Vunipola has been included among the replacements after recovering from a knee injury, while Henry Slade is also included in the squad, with Anthony Watson missing out.
Farrell, 25, wins his 50th cap at Twickenham as England look to win their 16th straight game under Jones.
"It is an important Test match for us and our only consideration is to play well. Italy have a proud record in Test rugby, they beat South Africa in November, and we will not underestimate them," said the Australian.
"I know the Twickenham crowd will give Owen Farrell a big cheer. To reach 50 caps at such a young age is a fine achievement. The one thing I know about Owen is that his next 50 are going to be more impressive than his first."
BBC Radio 5 live rugby union reporter Chris Jones
Te'o has made an explosive impact off the bench in the first two Six Nations matches, and is rewarded with a place in the starting XV for the first time.
Normally an inside centre, Jones has surprisingly selected him in the number 13 shirt, and he will provide the ball-carrying power England have missed in the absence of Manu Tuilagi, and which the last coaching regime hoped would be provided by another cross-code convert, Sam Burgess.
There were suggestions Owen Farrell would move to fly-half on the occasion of his 50th cap, but Jones has persisted with the playmaking combination of George Ford and Farrell at 10 and 12.
England team to face Italy
Brown; May, Te'o, Farrell, Daly; Ford, Care; Marler, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury, Lawes, Itoje, Haskell, Hughes.
Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Sinckler, Wood, Clifford, Youngs, Slade, Nowell
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7 minutes ago
What a mess. 4 Players out of position. I say maybe a 2 point win, no bonus point.
Or, you could accept that EJ has picked sides to win 15 on the trot and that he probably knows what he's doing, and then shut up.
EJ is building a squad to play multiple positions, anywhere in the backs or back 5 of the pack. All takes time
1. ford has more rugby nous than any other flyhallf apart from Bowden barrett!, he also punches well above his weight in the tackle!
2. d cole is an awesome scrummager, he also gets loads of turnovers.
3. if you pay attention itojie played 2nd row most of the time against wales with lawes at 6
and we won
Ford makes England's backline tick. Try watching a bit more closely. You will see that Ford plays a major part in many England tries.
Toby Faletau born in Tonga
Ross Moriarty born in St Helens, played for England U18s and U20's
George North, born Kings Lyn
Thomas Francis, Yorkshire man
Sam Warburton, English parents
Shall I go on?
Bet you are really proud of your team!
Can anyone point out a Ford defensive howler in all these games (I can't think of one but may be wrong).
Shows our strength in depth that we are even discussing it
A Celtic 10 would be in the Team forever after so many wins...
Clearly we have been watching a different 6N, and whenever I have seen Sarries, Itoje has partnered Kruis in the 2nd row.
The turnover count was 8-2 to Wales, I hate to think what it would have been if the Welsh back row had not been "kept quiet".
Both Wood and Clifford have paid the price.
Teo's mum is English so he's got one of the holy trinity numpties on here moan about.
Glad they haven't made too many changes but I'd have gone for Daly at o/c to see how he went and I still think Itoje is better suited to the 2nd row.
Good player yes, but not understanding the Nowell fan club here. Horses for courses.
Would have paired Care with Farrell at half back and Te'o and Daly in midfield for this one though.