Belfast Telegraph

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Forwards thinking by Johnson

England manager Martin Johnson has finalised a forwards-dominated bench for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy.

The uncapped Worcester loose-head prop Matt Mullan has been included in a five-strong forwards contingent at the expense of Northampton full-back Ben Foden.

Mullan is joined by Bath prop David Wilson, Brive hooker Steve Thompson, Leicester lock Louis Deacon and London Irish flanker Steffon Armitage. London Irish scrum-half Paul Hodgson and Leicester fly-half Toby Flood complete the bench.

Johnson's selection is designed to counter the Italian pack, which is widely considered to be one of the most ferocious in world rugby.

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