Attwood made his England debut as a replacement against the All Blacks but missed out last weekend against Australia.
Nick Easter leads the England side for the first time in a full international against Samoa at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (2.30pm).
The Harlequins No.8 takes over from Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby) in a starting line-up showing four changes to the one that beat Australia 35-18.
Three are in the scrum and one in the back line as England prepare to face a Samoan side beaten 20-10 by Ireland last weekend.
Flanker Hendre Fourie (Leeds Carnegie) makes his first start with James Haskell (Stade Francais) also returning in the back row for Moody and Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers) respectively, while David Wilson (Bath Rugby) is in for Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) at tight head.
Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby) replaces Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby) at outside centre to win his sixth cap after five previous appearances on the wing.
Cole and Croft are on the bench for the third Investec International of the season with David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby) back among the replacements in place of Simon Shaw (London Wasps).
England v Samoa, Investec International, Saturday, November 20 (2.30pm):
15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
12 Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby)
11 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
10 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
6 James Haskell (Stade Francais)
7 Hendre Fourie (Leeds Carnegie)
8 Nick Easter (Harlequins, Captain)
16 Steve Thompson (Leeds Carnegie)
17 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
18 David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby)
19 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
20 Danny Care (Harlequins)
21 Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks)
22 Delon Armitage (London Irish)