Six Nations 2015: Geoff Parling ruled out of England’s game against Italy

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree confirms Leicester Tigers lock unavailable after failing to shake off a knee problem

Geoff Parling has been ruled of England’s Six Nations game against Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Leicester Tigers lock has failed to recover in time from a knee injury picked up last month in the European Champions Cup match against Ulster.

His knee is not quite right in terms of his graduated return to full running so he won’t be in the mix for this weekend.

Graham Rowntree

Red Rose head coach Stuart Lancaster had indicated earlier in the week that the experienced second row forward was in contention for a place on the bench for the second round of the championship, but forwards coach Graham Rowntree confirmed the news at England’s Pennyhill Park training base on Tuesday afternoon.

Saracens lock George Kruis impressed in his first England start against Wales and is expected to keep his place in the second row alongside Bath Rugby’s Dave Attwood.

Parling’s absence means that his Leicester team-mate Tom Croft and Harlequins loose forward Nick Easter are likely to retain their places on the bench to provide cover for the second and back rows, as they did for England’s 21-16 win over Wales in their championship opener in Cardiff on Friday night.

“It’s unfortunate that his knee is not right,” Rowntree said.

“Geoff didn’t complete training yesterday.

“His knee is not quite right in terms of his graduated return to full running so he won’t be in the mix for this weekend.”

Bath Rugby tighthead prop David Wilson is also out of the match as he continues his comeback from a neck injury picked up at the end of last month.

Leicester’s Dan Cole performed well at the scrum in Wilson’s absence, although was culpable for a number of problems at the breakdown, and is expected to keep his place ahead of Newcastle Falcons prop Kieran Brookes.

“We need to make sure we give it the right amount of time,” Rowntree added on Wilson’s injury.

“It has taken a bit longer than anticipated, but it’s not an issue.”

Lancaster will name his squad to face the Azzurri on Thursday morning with the starting XV expected to be unchanged from the one that lined up at the Millennium Stadium.

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