WORCESTER Warriors centre Ben Te’o will form a powerful midfield partnership with Manu Tuilagi for England’s Guinness Six Nations match against Italy at Twickenham on Saturday (4.45pm).

It will be Te’o’s first start of this year’s championship as a side strain ruled him out of the first two matches against Ireland and France.

But the 32-year-old has trained with England throughout the tournament and was a travelling reserve for the defeat by Wales in Cardiff two weeks ago.

Te’o returns as one of five changes to the side and will link-up with Tuilagi who moves to outside centre as Henry Slade is dropped to the bench.

Wing Joe Cokanasiga, lock Joe Launchbury, flanker Brad Shields and prop Ellis Genge also come into the starting line-up.

Te’o will win his 17th England cap against Italy and his 19th in international rugby following two appearances for the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand two years ago.

Head coach Eddie Jones said: “We have had a good preparation ahead of Italy with a great week in Oxford where we competed against Georgia for two days.

“Players have had a good break and have come back into camp reenergised and refocused for what is an important game for us.

“Italy is a bit of an unknown quantity but when Conor (O’Shea, Italy head coach) allows them to play rugby they play well.

“They have played terrific games in the Six Nations. They are fitter, physically stay in the contest a lot longer and they are quite unpredictable in the way they attack.

“We expect Italy to throw the ball around a bit so we are going to have to defend very well against their unpredictability and when we have got the ball, we have to use it wisely.”

England: Daly; Cokanasiga, Tuilagi, Te’o, May; Farrell ©, Youngs; Genge, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Kruis, Shields, Curry, Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Moon, Cole, Hughes, Wilson, Robson, Ford, Slade.