ESPN SCRUM

/ England

/ News

Italy v England
Lancaster: Kick-off time irrelevant
ESPN Staff
March 14, 2014
Stuart Lancaster could lead England to Six Nations glory on Saturday © Getty Images
Enlarge

Stuart Lancaster has dismissed ideas that Saturday's staggered kick-off times put his England side at a disadvantage on the final day of the Six Nations.

England, Ireland and France all go into the last weekend challenging for the title, which is likely to be decided on points difference. However, in a bid to maximise TV viewing figures, England kick-off against Italy at 12.30pm, while Ireland do not take on France until 5pm.

Ireland and France therefore, will meet knowing what is required to take the Six Nations crown. But Lancaster has refused to complain. He said: "It's not something I've thought about. The current contract is in place to 2017 and it really isn't a factor for us.

"It's irrelevant whether we kick off at the same time or later. We've still got to do a job. We've still got to play well. I don't think it affects the outcome of a game knowing what you need to do - I don't think players or coaches think that way.

"You're that concentrated on your own detail, your own preparation, that you barely even cast an eye at the scoreline. There have been games played during this tournament which have been on TV while we've been warming up. As a coach I've barely cast an eye on it, never mind a player who's getting warmed up."

England will welcome back Manu Tuilagi, who is ready to release six months of frustration upon the Italians after sitting out most of the season with a pectoral injury. The centre takes his place on the bench, with Alex Goode dropping out of the match-day squad.

Tuilagi said: "It's been a tough time and I've certainly missed the game. You just want to be out there, especially with the way the boys are playing. You want to be part of the team, so getting back in is great.

"If I get the opportunity to come off the bench I'll hopefully bring my normal game."

With Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell forging a strong centre partnership, Stuart Lancaster has hinted Tuilagi could be deployed on the wing in Rome.

Lancaster said: "We'll wait and see how the game goes. He's trained on the wing as well as in the centre. He knows the calls and the plays. It has been good to run him on the wing because that is where he played age-grade rugby."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - Shoot-out
    Golf - Africa Open
    Golf - WGC-Cadillac Championship
    Darts - UK Open finals
    Tennis - Davis Cup first round
    Boxing - Zolani Tete v Paul Butler
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Glasgow sweep Zebre aside to go top

    Glasgow hammer bottom side Zebre to go top of the Guiness PRO12 as Cardiff Blues secure a last-gasp victory at home to Connacht in Friday's evening fixtures

  • Rugby

    Homer the hero as Bath grind out vital win

    Bath recorded their first Aviva Premiership victory for almost two months as they moved second in the table behind runaway leaders Northampton after subduing Recreation Ground visitors Sale 12-3

  • Tennis

    Ward comes back from the brink to beat Isner

    James Ward has beaten John Isner 6-7(4) 5-7 6-3 7-6(3) 15-13 to give Great Britain a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup match against the United States

  • Football

    Evans denies spitting charge from FA

    Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and will have his case heard on Friday night

  • Athletics

    Johnson-Thompson smashes Ennis record on way to gold

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis-Hill's British record, but fell agonisingly short of the world record as she claimed pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague on Friday

  • Formula One

    Pointless drivers

    Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?

  • Formula 1

    'I'm more than just a pay driver' - Ericsson

    ESPN talks to Marcus Ericsson about the "pay driver" label, aiming for his first career points and what life was really like as a rookie during Caterham's chaotic final season

  • Football

    Ronaldo and co. fear nutmegs at Real Madrid, says Bale

    Gareth Bale says he has to be sharp in training or the other Real Madrid galacticos will quickly be on his case

  • Formula 1

    Grand Prix Trust: Taking care of the carers

    Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case

  • Football

    Evans-Cisse spitting spat exposes football's glaring flaws

    A spitting contest. Just what football needs to improve its reputation. You can always rely on football to stoop that little bit lower than you expected. Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United and Jonny Evans of Manchester United, who later protested his innoce

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income