Michael Edwards, Sports Reporter
Thursday, March 7, 2013
ENGLAND international Alex Goode has warned his team-mates not to underestimate Italy ahead of their RBS Six Nations Clash.
Stuart Lancaster’s squad face Italy at Twickenham on Sunday, and a win would put them within one game of a Grand Slam clean sweep – something England haven’t achieved since 2003.
But despite the tantalisingly prospect of a completing a tournament clean sweep against the Welsh at the Millennium Stadium, Goode refused to look past Sunday’s matchup against Italy.
“We’re expecting a big Italian performance. [Sergio] Parisse is back and they always play better with him on the field,” said the 24-year-old who has started at full back for all of England’s Six Nations campaign and hopes to be named in the starting XV tomorrow.
“There are plenty of improvements to be made after the France game and we want to put them in place and play well against Italy.”
The major change for England will be Owen Farrell’s omission from the squad. The 21-year-old will be on the sidelines after picking up a thigh injury in the 23-13 win over France. Toby Flood is expected to take his place.
The full squad will be announced on Friday (March 8) around 10am and Saracens’ Mako Vunipola is expected to earn his first England start in the Six Nations.
Speaking of his club team-mate, Goode said: “He is an unbelievable athlete but something that is often overlooked is his understanding of the game. He comes from a rugby family so he knows the game.
“I think he’s been great every time he’s come off the bench. If he gets the call up it will be well deserved.”