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Published: 11:53 | 12/2/16

Jones makes three changes


England head coach Eddie Jones has made three changes to his starting XV for Sunday's RBS Six Nations game against Italy in Rome.

Jones had hinted at changes following the defeat of Scotland on the opening weekend and he has opted for a squad that he believes will fit the game plan he wants to implement against Italy.

Courtney Lawes, Mako Vunipola and Ben Youngs have been promoted to the starting XV with Joe Launchbury, Joe Marler and Danny Care all dropping to the bench.

All three were introduced during the 15-9 win over Scotland and Jones believes they can make a big impact in Rome.

"We've made a few changes to the line-up for Italy. I believe this is the strongest 23 to go to Rome and get the performance and result we want." Jones said.

"Mako, Ben and Courtney have been pushing hard for selection during training, but they also fit the game plan we want to implement against Italy.

"Danny, Joe Marler and Joe Launchbury will all have a significant role to play to finish the game."

Maro Itoje has been in impressive form for Saracens this season and he is likely to see some game time from the bench.

"Maro has consistently impressed me this week and, together with his excellent club form, has deserved his call up to the matchday squad," Jones said.

England (XV v Italy): M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, W Farrell, J Nowell; G Ford, B Youngs; M Vunipola, D Hartley, D Cole, C Lawes, C Kruis, C Robshaw, J Haskell, B Vunipola.

Replacements; J George, J Marler, P Hill, M Itoje, J Launchbury, J Clifford, D Care, A Goode

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