It's a tough call - Neil was an important member of England's World Cup-winning side - but sometimes hard decisions have to be made.
We have good cover in the back row, so I suppose it's as good a place to start making changes as any. But I do feel sorry for Neil.
I don't think Sir Clive Woodward has done it to show that he is not afraid of making changes. He wanted to make them and is looking to do it without unsettling the team - something the All Blacks used to do with great success.
I'm also a little surprised he didn't give Alex King a run-out because Paul Grayson's qualities are well known.
But it's a game we need to win and with all the other changes, England need some stability. They certainly get that with Grayson in what is a pivotal position.
Henry Paul is on the bench and I expect him to play some part at the weekend. There is no doubting his talent, but the jury is still out on whether he can perform at the highest level.
Looking ahead to the game, I think Italy are more consistent now and they are also improving at club level.
But the other countries have not stood still and I can't see them beating a strong England side this weekend.