Ben Te'o will make his first Test start for England in their Six Nations clash against Italy as Eddie Jones makes four changes from the side that defeated Wales in Cardiff. Te'o will start alongside Owen Farrell at outside centre, while Danny Care will start for his country for the first time in almost a year at scrum-half.
Farrell, who keeps his place at inside centre, will earn his 50th cap against the Italians at Twickenham on Saturday, while James Haskell and Jonny May have both been afforded starts by Jones, who resisted the calls to play Jamie George over captain Dylan Hartley.
Worcester Warriors Te'o, who is primarily a cross-code centre, takes the place of the omitted Jonathan Joseph. Jones admitted he had a tough time picking his team but believes 30-year-old Te'o brings another dimension to his side, which has arguably been needed if the last two performances are anything to go by.
"Selection was tough," Jones said. "Ben Te'o at 13 gives us another way of playing the game and we are excited about seeing him, George Ford and Owen Farrell play together in the midfield.
"Ben Youngs has been outstanding for us at number nine, but Danny Care gets the starting jersey this week. For the first half he'll give us a lot of speed and running at the base of the ruck as well as the scrum. Ben will then come on and finish the game.
"We have had a good two-week preparation for Italy and we're ready to go," Jones added. "We trained very well in the city last week and this week the training has been very impressive. The boys are really on song, we have had great competition for places, and we've picked a very strong 23 to play against Italy."