Lancaster praises Joseph's versatility

London (AFP) - England head coach Stuart Lancaster praised Jonathan Joseph for his versatility after the Bath centre scored a brace of tries in the 47-17 thumping of Italy on Saturday.

Joseph lit up Twickenham with a try in each half, first showing nifty footwork and a turn of pace before hitting a perfect line for his second.

But those came after he had been shunted out to the wing following a concussion to full-back Mike Brown, who had to be stretchered from the field.

Joseph's Bath team-mate Anthony Watson moved from wing to full-back, with Billy Twelvetrees slipping into the centres off the bench.

"Jonathan Joseph was outstanding. It was a big shift to put him on the wing," said Lancaster.

"It's not ideal but with Browny's injury it was an obvious one for us to put Anthony to full-back having played there for his club and JJ on the wing. He still found a way to influence the game which is great."

Joseph said he didn't mind being asked to take on a different role.

"It's always disruptive, but we work in the week for that to happen. We're comfortable in a change of positions and it went well today," he told the BBC.

Brown will be monitored throughout the week before the England coaches decide whether he can return against Ireland on March 1 in Dublin.

Wales decided against risking wing George North on Sunday against Scotland after he was twice knocked unconscious in their 21-16 defeat to England last week in Cardiff.

"We shall see how it goes with Mike Brown. It helps the fact that it is two weeks and a day before we play Ireland but we will take him through the return to play protocol," added Lancaster.

"I spoke to him in the changing room and he was grumpy that he had to miss the game and frustrated ?- he is grumpy anyway.

"We have got a training week coming up -? we will train Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ?- and he won't take any part in that. We will see how he goes in the lead-up to the Ireland game."

England responded brilliantly after conceding an early try to Sergio Parisse, scoring two of their own to go into the break leading 15-5 before running away with it in the second half.

Italy's French coach Jacques Brunel said his side need to put in more consistent performances.

"We started fine but then it all went wrong. You must play at a high level for 80 minutes not just 20 minutes in the Six Nations," he warned.

"The players gave me everything but England are a very fine side and a very strong one. They could go on and win the tournament but it will be close.

"It was a shame we could not get more from this game but we have to quickly move on and realise we have lost to a very good team."