England trio set to return


Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The momentum behind England’s RBS 6 Nations title quest has continued to build with the news that Brad Barritt, Geoff Parling and Kyle Eastmond should be available against Italy next Saturday.

Shortly after Wales had been dispatched 21-16 in an absorbing Championship opener at the Millennium Stadium, Lancaster delivered the positive update on the trio as his injury crisis finally begins to show signs of easing.

Barritt and Parling missed the Cardiff showdown with knee problems and Eastmond was ruled out by a shoulder complaint, but the trio are due to return to training on Monday.

England’s treatment room still remains busy despite Lancaster revealing there were no new admissions after a brutal showdown against Warren Gatland’s men, but his options are now beginning to increase.

How much Lancaster is willing to adjust a 23 that performed admirably remains to be seen, but Barritt could replace the quiet Luther Burrell while Parling may displace Nick Easter from the bench.

Storming Cardiff avenged the 30-3 defeat at the same ground two years ago and has given England the perfect start to their title bid, but Lancaster is keeping his perspective with four games to come.

“For me this is just one match. I’ve been in charge of three Championships now and finished second each time, so I won’t be getting carried away,” he said.

“‘I’ll be getting the players’ feet back on the ground on Monday and saying we need to be better for Italy.

“It’s hard to put a rating on victories because they’re all important when you’re in charge of a national team, but it’s certainly right up there because of the experience we had two years ago.

“We know how difficult it is to come here and win and we know how good their team is.

“We have a huge amount of respect for what they’ve achieved in the past, so to come here and get the win is big for us.

“The defeat two years ago was felt really deeply. There were a lot of players who played in that game who wanted to give the England supporters, who were fantastic, something to cheer about.”

Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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