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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 16:35 GMT
Easter and Balshaw in for England
Nick Easter in action for harlequins
Easter is set to win his first England cap at the age of 28
England coach Brian Ashton has made two changes for the Six Nations game with Italy on Saturday, with Nick Easter and Iain Balshaw coming into the side.

Harlequins back-rower Easter replaces injured Wasps blind-side flanker Joe Worsley in the number six shirt.

Full-back Balshaw, who missed the 42-20 win over Scotland with injury, comes into the side for Olly Morgan, who replaced Balshaw against the Scots.

Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry replaces Peter Richards on the bench.

The uncapped Easter, 28, came off the bench for England Saxons in their win against Italy on Friday night.

He joined Quins from Orrell in August 2004 and has twice been the London club's player of the year.

"I would like to congratulate Nick on his first cap for England," said England boss Ashton.

"He has had a very good season in the Guinness Premiership, and he played in the successful England Saxons side that beat Italy last Friday."

606 DEBATE: Your thoughts on England's selection

Worsley is expected to recover from the neck injury he sustained against Scotland in time for England's third match in the championship, against Ireland in Dublin on 24 February.

Balshaw displaces Gloucester club colleague Morgan, who made his debut against the Scots, but will have to prove he has overcome a groin problem in training on Wednesday.

If he fails to recover in time then Morgan will retain the full-back jersey.

Ashton said: "I thought that Olly Morgan did a good job on Saturday, especially as he was called in at such short notice, but I have gone for Iain's greater experience at international level."

England have won all seven previous Six Nations meetings against Italy and have averaged 53 points a game in the three encounters at Twickenham.


England: Balshaw; Lewsey, Tindall, Farrell, Robinson; Wilkinson, Ellis; Freshwater, Chuter, Vickery (capt), Deacon, Grewcock, Easter, Lund, Corry.
Replacements: Mears, White, Palmer, Rees, Perry, Flood, Tait.




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