England rugby's interim head coach Lancaster attends the launch of the Six Nations rugby championship at the Hurlingham Club in London
England rugby's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster attends the launch of the Six Nations rugby championship at the Hurlingham Club in London January 25, 2012.

England's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has kept faith with the XV that toiled at Murrayfield against Scotland during the opening match of the RBS Six Nations, by naming an unchanged side to play Italy in Rome on Saturday.

"We have had a good week in spite of the weather and reflected on the game, reviewed and learnt from it and will look to improve the quality of our performance this week," Lancaster told The Times.

"We have decided to leave the starting team the same to allow them more time to gel together and we are expecting our bench to come on and make an impact as they did last week.

"Italy will be a very difficult challenge with nearly 700 caps in their starting line-up and it promises to be an outstanding occasion at the sold-out Stadio Olimpico."

England gave seven players their debut during the 13-6 victory in the Calcutta Cup and the same team will take to field in the Italian capital, in yet another sign of Lancaster's bid to promote consistency following a tumultuous period of unrest and off-field indiscretions during the previous, now much maligned regime.

Having dispensed with Toby Flood from the England squad during the week with the Leicester fly-half still making his way back from injury, Lancaster has unsurprisingly persisted with Charlie Hodgson in the No.10 jersey.

Lancaster championed the emergence of Scarlets No.8 Ben Morgan in midweek yet the former Saxons coach has persisted with Northampton's Phil Dowson.

England have never lost to Italy but backs coach Andy Farrell believes they are a different proposition when at home.

"We know the passion of the Italians," he said. "We know they are playing at a new stadium that it is going to be full. We know they will want to show what they are about as a rugby nation."

Lock Mouritz Botha, who impressed during the win in Scotland, echoed Farrell's sentiment by telling the BBC: "Italy are not a wooden spoon team any more."

England XV (to face Italy at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday): B Foden (Northampton Saints), C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), D Strettle (Saracens); C Hodgson (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), M Botha (Saracens), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), P Dowson (Northampton Saints). Replacements: R Webber (London Wasps), M Stevens (Saracens), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), B Morgan (Scarlets), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), M Brown (Harlequins).