England vs Wales: Manu Tuilagi set to add to Eddie Jones options for Six Nations clash | Rugby Union News


Eddie Jones’ side revived their title hopes with a bonus point win over Italy in Rome that lifted them to second in the table ahead of their showdown with Wales at Twickenham on Saturday week; Manu Tuilagi’s comeback after hamstring tear picks up pace

Last update: 2/14/22 11:34 p.m.

Manu Tuilagi’s comeback after hamstring tear picks up pace

England will be hoping to be strengthened for the next leg of their Guinness Six Nations campaign by the return of several frontline players from injury, including explosive center Manu Tuilagi.

Eddie Jones’ side revived their title hopes with a bonus point win over Italy in Rome that lifted them into second place in the table ahead of their showdown with Wales at Twickenham on Saturday week .

Along with their selection options, there could be a number of established internationals who missed the first two rounds through injury.

Tuilagi’s comeback from a hamstring tear has accelerated in Sale colors and flanker Courtney Lawes could finally complete his convalescence recovery in time to face Wales.

Joe Launchbury’s vast experience in the second tier would be invaluable now that he has proven his aptitude for Wasps after a long spell out with knee surgery and Lewis Ludlam to return from rib cartilage damage suffered against Scotland.

Courtney Lawes could also return for England for their Six Nations clash with Wales

Courtney Lawes could also return for England for their Six Nations clash with Wales

“Potentially we will have Launchbury, Tuilagi, Lawes and Ludlam, so there are a few who could come back to the team,” head coach Jones said.

“We hope that by the end of next week Courtney will be training fully. He is making great progress and the medical staff have done a wonderful job with him.

“He’s not far away now and we really hope he’s back in full training and can play against Wales.”

Of the returnees, it will be Tuilagi who will add the most, with England missing their muscular presence in a midfield that lacked punch.

Henry Slade has performed well inside the center but is not the tough running option that would bring better balance and if Tuilagi is given the green light to resume his international career the Exeter player is likely to move to 13.

Eddie Jones could have Tuilagi at his disposal to face Wales

Eddie Jones could have Tuilagi at his disposal to face Wales

“Just having a powerful running center would give us a different option,” Jones said.

“Everything we do now is try to create opportunities through finesse and that’s through good running and passing lines.

“But having someone who can move you forward quickly and engage two or three defenders then allows you to try to fine tune the extra space, which would be really helpful for us.

“When you have smaller crosses you have to be much better in your running and supporting lines and in your passing. I think we are making progress there.

“We played three crosses and I think Sladey was very good. Joe Marchant and Elliot Daly had their moments but we have to make the most of them and we understand that.

“If Manu is fit…I will have a chat with (director of rugby sales) Alex Sanderson and Manu to see where they are at and if he has enough gas in the tank to make the move.”

England’s last meeting with Wales was mired in controversy and Jones was happy to reopen old wounds as he reflected on a controversial Pascal Gauzere refereeing that helped their rivals score two tries.

For the first time, Jones openly criticized Gauzere, saying his performance was worthy of a Rassie Erasmus-style video review in reference to the South African director of rugby’s condemnation of officials during the 2021 Lions tour.

When asked what lessons could be learned from the collision at the Principality Stadium last year, Jones replied: “I don’t think there is anything to be learned from poor refereeing.

“I don’t even remember that game. For me it was a Rassie Erasmus video game because we had two tough decisions against us early on which World Rugby apologized for being incorrect but that didn’t brings you no result.

“When you drop 14 points against good opposition, you have to be a pretty good team to be able to make up for that. We weren’t good enough to make up for it.”

Tompkins isn’t interested in the hype

Nick Tompkins is likely to clash with several of his club colleagues

Nick Tompkins is likely to clash with several of his club colleagues

Nick Tompkins has no intention of getting caught up in the inevitable hype that will accompany the build-up to the Wales-England clash.

For Saracens center Tompkins, that should mean taking on a number of his fellow club members – players like Maro Itoje, Max Malins and Jamie George – as the tournament reaches its halfway point.

“I know how personal it is in terms of the history of the rivalry and all that, and I love it,” he said.

“For me, I work best when I have a cool head. I don’t want to get too involved in that emotional side because sometimes I feel like it can waste energy.

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the Saracen boys, and I definitely want to give them some! But it’s not something I want to massively draw my energy from.”




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