Manu Tuilagi returns to England squad
March 12, 2014
He's back ... Manu Tuilagi during the England training session on Tuesday © Getty Images
As widely expected, Manu Tuilagi has been named in an England squad for the first time in a year after recovering from injury. He will start on the replacements bench for the Six Nations game against Italy on Saturday. Tuilagi, 22, replaces Alex Goode in the only change to England's 23-man squad.
"Manu trained well with us last week and today and is up to speed with the way we want to play," coach Stuart Lancaster said. "Alex Goode has done well for us off the bench and is naturally disappointed but we believe Manu, with the power and physicality he can bring, is the right choice to be included in the 23 for this game."
Assistant coach Graham Rowntree echoed those views. "You can't ignore what Manu can bring to the game with the ball in hand, and his experience. He's done famous things for us, he's a British [and Irish] Lion, and he's fit and raring to go.
"We sat down as a coaching group and decided the time is right. He's had a bit more time working with us, getting back into the groove with how we do things, and that's why he's in.
"Where he comes on, that's another discussion to have, but we're fairly sure he can come on and make an impact which is what you need from your bench."
Rowntree played down suggestions England would head to Rome with the aim of running up a cricket score. "It's win first. There aren't many teams who go over there and put many points on them. The last time we were there we snuck out of there with a four-point win, so there is a lot there to respect.
"We want to go out there and win the game, we get that right and everything else will take care of itself."
Forwards: David Attwood (Bath), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) , Henry Thomas (Sale), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester)
Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside