England will simply be targeting victory when they play Italy in Rome in their final Six Nations match on Saturday, according to forwards coach Graham Rowntree.
Stuart Lancaster’s men go into the game with a chance of winning the title, but Ireland’s superior points difference means that they will be almost assured of glory if they overcome France.
Should Ireland win in Paris, England would need to beat Italy by at least 50 points to stand any chance of pipping them to the title, but Rowntree says his side will not employ gung ho tactics at the Stadio Olimpico. “The Italian outfit are a bit like France. They’re not small, they’re big guys, and a lot of them are playing in France,” said the England forwards coach.
“Not many teams go over there and push them around and they’ve had moments in this Six Nations. They’re big men. We’ll have to play well on Saturday to beat them and that’s all we’re focusing on – beating them. “A lot has been said about the scoreline, but we’re going over there to beat them. There aren’t many teams who have gone over there and smashed Italy. They just don’t let you do that. “We’re going out there to win the game. We’ve not spoken about points difference. Let’s do what we need to do to win the game. Everything else will take care of itself. I mean that.”
* Meanwhile centre Manu Tuilagi was recalled to the England squad.
Tuilagi, 22 and who comes in for Alex Goode, had been out for six months with a chest muscle injury and has played just once for his club Leicester since his return.
However, he could be just the ideal ‘wrecking ball’ to send on against a tiring Italian defence, who caved in in the second-half of their match last Saturday against Ireland, losing 47-7 having only trailed 17-7 at the break.
“Manu trained well with us last week and today, and is up to speed with the way we want to play,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said.
“Alex Goode has done well for us off the bench and is naturally disappointed but we believe Manu, with the power and physicality he can bring, is the right choice to be included in the 23 for this game.”
Forwards: David Attwood, Dylan Hartley, Tom Johnson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw, Henry Thomas, Mako Vunipola, David Wilson, Tom Wood, Tom Youngs.
Backs: Mike Brown, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Lee Dickson, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees