Saints duo Hartley and Burrell stay in England side for Italy clash

IN FROM THE OFF - Dylan Hartley and Luther Burrell start for England (picture: Linda Dawson)
IN FROM THE OFF - Dylan Hartley and Luther Burrell start for England (picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints stars Dylan Hartley and Luther Burrell have been named in England’s starting 15 for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Italy at Twickenham.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has opted to stick with the same 23 players who secured a memorable 21-16 opening night win in Wales last Friday.

That means Hartley is again at hooker, with Burrell continuing his centre partnership with Bath’s Jonathan Joseph.

Saints duo Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes remain sidelined as they continue to recover from ankle injuries, but they are aiming to be fit for the game in Ireland on March 1.

“It’s always good to be able to name an unchanged team and to build some consistency,” said Lancaster. “We did the same last year after France heading into the Scotland game.

“Italy are going to be fired up, they always are when they come to Twickenham, especially after last week’s loss to Ireland.

“We know what’s coming at us but we have prepared well and are looking forward to getting back home and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”

England: Brown; Watson, Joseph, Burrell, May; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, Hartley, Cole; Attwood, Kruis; Haskell, Robshaw, B Vunipola.

Replacements: T Youngs, M Vunipola, Brookes, Croft, Easter, Wigglesworth, Cipriani, Twelvetrees.