x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Flutey back for England

The inside centre will start in the Six Nations game against Italy and so will the tighthead prop Dan Cole.

Riki Flutey is back in the starting lineup for England's Six Nations game against Italy on Sunday and the tighthead prop Dan Cole will make his first start. Flutey, who turned 30 yesterday, was due to play at inside centre in England's 30-17 victory over Wales on Saturday in the opening match of the tournament but pulled out on the eve of the game after taking a knock to a thigh in training and was replaced by Toby Flood.

Cole replaces shoulder-injury victim David Wilson in the only other change to the starting 15. The Leicester front row, 22, made his England debut as a second-half replacement for Wilson during the victory over the Welsh. "Dave Wilson took a bit of a knock last week so he has been limited in training and it is the perfect opportunity to bring Dan Cole in," the team manager, Martin Johnson, said. "We are very pleased to do that. I thought he was impressive when he played last week and the way he has handled this week. He can do a good job for us. We knew there was potential in him and his development has been rapid fire."

Johnson delayed naming his replacements until tomorrow because of injury and illness concerns. The captain, Steve Borthwick, is likely to start despite missing two days' training because of illness. France coach, Marc Lievremont, has made two enforced changes to the team that beat Scotland for Les Bleus' game against Ireland. Vincent Clerc and Alexis Palisson come in for the wings Aurelien Rougerie and Benjamin Fall, who were yesterday both forced to withdraw with injuries.

Brive's Palisson has been preferred to the Clermont wing Julien Malzieu while Jean-Baptiste Poux, who was also called up to replace Luc Ducalcon, starts from the bench with Sylvain Marconnet moving to the stands. Nathan Hines has been ruled out of Scotland's trip to Wales after suffering a calf strain and aggravating an ankle injury against France. The Leinster player will be replaced at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday by Edinburgh's Jim Hamilton, who has only recently recovered from a long-term knee problem.

* With agencies