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Ben Te'o urged to seize England chance by scrum coach Neal Hatley

Ben Te'o and James Haskell have been challenged to carry the impact they have made as replacements into the starting line-up when England face Italy on Sunday.

The RBS 6 Nations title defence continues with the visit of Conor O'Shea's Azzurri to Twickenham, with the Red Rose seeking a 17th consecutive win.

Te'o and Haskell made telling contributions to the late victories over France and Wales, arriving off the bench to unleash a succession of muscular carries at a time when England needed fresh momentum.

It will be rugby league convert Te'o's first start after winning all five of his caps as a replacement, and head coach Eddie Jones is eager to see how he performs at outside centre.

Haskell is restored to the back row having completed his recovery from toe surgery to make his first start since last summer's triumphant tour to Australia.

"Ben and James have had a real impact off the bench for us in this Six Nations," scrum coach Neal Hatley said.

"This is an exciting opportunity for them, particularly for Ben. We know what Haskell gives the team, so this is a chance to see what Ben can do.

"He's a strong runner and he's waited for the opportunity to start for some time now, so he's champing at the bit."

Italy have struggled so far in this Six Nations, conceding 96 points over the opening two rounds alone, and are now facing a growing clamour for Georgia to be admitted into the Six Nations in their place.

A 16th win of the Jones era in dry conditions at Twickenham should be a formality, but Hatley refuses to look beyond the display.

"It's more around the performance. We have just been talking about the quality of the performance, how we start the game and how we adapt to the scenarios that crop up during the game," Hatley said.

"Dylan Hartley talked about it again this morning (Saturday) - make sure the performance is good, make sure each individual gets his bits right, make the sub-units right, make the units work to make the team work.

"If we get that right, we get the performance right and the result will follow."

Italy's greatest threat comes from their pack and they are known for their scrummaging prowess.

"They pride themselves on their set piece. They make you work hard and there is a lot of experience in their tight five," Hatley said.

"A lot of our scrum work has been based around our discipline to make sure we're not giving field position away with easy free kicks and penalties at scrum time.

"If you don't then you might not see the ball for seven or eight minutes and you become camped in your 22."


From Belfast Telegraph