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England v Italy, Six Nations Championship, February 7
Care ruled out for England
February 5, 2009
England scrum-half Danny Care runs with the ball, England v South Africa, Twickenham, London, England, November 22, 2008
Care turned his ankle in training and will be replaced in the starting line-up by Leicester's Harry Ellis. © Getty Images

England scrum-half Danny Care has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations match against Italy due to an ankle injury.

The Harlequins No.9 strained the ligaments just above his right ankle after training on Tuesday morning, reportedly slipping over in the icy conditions at the team's hotel in Bagshot, Surrey. He will continue to be reviewed and treated by the England medical team.

Leicester's Harry Ellis, who was called up from the England Saxons squad on Tuesday, will take Care's place in the starting line up with Northampton's Ben Foden remaining on the bench.

As a result, London Irish's Paul Hodgson will start for the Saxons in their game against Ireland A at Donnybrook on Friday night with Wasps' Joe Simpson joining the bench.

England manager Martin Johnson said, "On behalf of the squad we all feel for Danny and wish him a speedy recovery. Harry is an experienced international and I'm sure he will do a good job for us on Saturday."

Ellis last started for England in the 2007 Six Nations before suffering a ruptured knee ligament playing for Leicester that ruled him out of the World Cup. He also sat out last year's Six Nations and England's summer tour to New Zealand before returning on the bench for the autumn Test series.

Care, the livewire Quins scrum-half, had established himself as England's first choice in New Zealand and had started the last five Tests. Ellis's inclusion means England have made six changes to the starting XV from their 32-6 defeat to the All Blacks in November.

Andy Goode has come in at fly-half with Mike Tindall restored at outside centre and winger Mark Cueto back in the side for the first time since the Rugby World Cup final. London Irish flanker Steffon Armitage will make his debut while Andrew Sheridan returns at loose-head prop.

Revised England side to face Italy:

England: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Paul Sackey (London Wasps), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Andy Goode (Brive), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Phil Vickery (London Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Saracens, captain), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), James Haskell (London Wasps), Steffon Armitage (London Irish), Nick Easter (Harlequins),

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

Revised England Saxons side to face ireland 'A':

Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby), Topsy Ojo (London Irish), Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Cipriani (London Wasps), /Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors), David Paice (London Irish), Dave Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers), George Skivington (London Wasps, captain), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Will Skinner (Harlequins), Tom Guest (Harlequins)

Replacements: Rob Webber (London Wasps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Stuart Hooper (Bath Rugby), Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), David Strettle (Harlequins)

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