Goode starts for England

Brive fly-half Andy Goode is the surprise inclusion in the England starting XV for Saturday's clash with Italy at Twickenham. [more]

Goode starts for England

Brive fly-half Andy Goode is the surprise inclusion in the England starting XV for Saturday’s clash with Italy at Twickenham.

The 28-year-old wins his 10th cap after Danny Cipriani was dropped to the Saxons and Toby Flood struggles to overcome a calf injury.

Goode left Leicester Tigers for France during the summer in a move that many believed would see his international career come to an end.

However, having missed out on selection for both the original Elite Player and Saxons squads, Goode trained with England during their recent camp in Portugal. He has since been added to the EPS on a permanent basis and will now make his first international appearance in more than two years in this weekend’s Six Nations opener.

Goode hasn’t played for his country since Andy Robinson’s final game in charge back in November 2006 but he has impressed since his move abroad and is currently the leading points scorer in the French Top 14.

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Steffon Armitage of London Irish is the only new cap in Martin Johnson’s starting line up, with the London Irish flanker joining brother Delon as they become the first set of siblings to represent England since the Underwood brothers in 1995.
World Cup winner Mike Tindall wins a recall, while Mark Cueto also finds himself back in international colours having not appeared for England since the 2007 World Cup Final.

Andrew Sheridan is the fifth and final change from the side that lost heavily to New Zealand in the final autumn international as Johnson begins his first Six Nations as England team manager.

Northampton’s Ben Foden could make his debut from the replacements bench, where he is joined by Julian White who recently replaced the suspended Matt Stevens in the England set up.

Delon Armitage (London Irish); Paul Sackey (Wasps), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Ricki Flutey (Wasps), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks); Andy Goode (Brive), Danny Care (Harlequins); Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Lee Mears (Bath), Phil Vickery (Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Saracens, captain), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), James Haskell (Wasps), Steffon Armitage (London Irish), Nick Easter (Harlequins)

Replacements: Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Julian White (Leicester), Tom Croft (Leicester), Joe Worsley (Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton), Shane Geraghty (London Irish), Matthew Tait (Sale Sharks)

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