Italy v England, Six Nations, February 14
Flutey set to return for England
February 10, 2010
Centre Riki Flutey sat out England's opener with © Getty Images
Centre Riki Flutey is set to return to the England team for this weekend's Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome.
The Brive centre, who missed England's autumn Test campaign following shoulder surgery, was picked to start alongside Mathew Tait against Wales last weekend before a dead leg forced him out of the game. Toby Flood was subsequently promoted into the starting line-up but Flutey has since returned to training and he is likely to be named in England's starting XV to face Italy on Sunday when it is announced later today.
England manager Martin Johnson is not expected to make many changes to the side that scored a 30-17 victory at Twickenham last Saturday. The Leicester tight-head Dan Cole, who made his Test debut off the bench, is in with a chance of starting, particularly with David Wilson appearing to have shoulder trouble.
Johnson will be selecting from the same 22 he originally named to play Wales plus the Worcester loose-head Matt Mullan and Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw, who both remained with the squad after nine players were released last night. Among those made available for Guinness Premiership action were Shontayne Hape, who was promoted onto the bench after Flutey's injury and then withdrew on Saturday morning after catching a bug.
Captain Steve Borthwick sat out training yesterday after also feeling unwell and he was kept in isolation from the rest of the squad, but England's management are confident he will be fit to play in Rome.