Tuilagi primed to face New Zealand despite missing South Africa clash
England’s Manu Tuilagi primed to face New Zealand despite pulling out of South Africa clash with groin strain
- Manu Tuilagi is back and ready to face world champions New Zealand
- Tuilagi pulled out of Saturday’s Test against South Africa due to a groin strain
- The injury-prone Leicester Tigers centre hasn’t started a Test since 2014
Manu Tuilagi is primed to face the All Blacks on Saturday. The injury-prone centre pulled out of Saturday’s Test against South Africa with a groin strain, but on Sunday night was named in Eddie Jones’ 35-man party for the clash with world champions New Zealand.
Tuilagi has not started a Test since 2014, but Jones is keen to reintegrate the powerful midfielder.
Medical staff will continue to monitor the fitness of flanker Tom Curry, who is recovering from an ankle injury and left Twickenham on Saturday night on crutches.
Manu Tuilgai is set to face New Zealand despite missing the Test against South Africa
Lock Courtney Lawes has also passed a fitness test to come back into contention, however No 8 Ben Morgan has withdrawn with a shoulder injury.
Uncapped Harlequins centre Joe Marchant has been handed a surprise call up for the first time.
Eddie Jones and his squad are convinced that their narrow victory in the first of the autumn Tests can serve as a launch-pad to greater glory against New Zealand.
Much improvement will be required to conjure an upset, but a major part of the challenge is a mental one and there are early signs of a bullish attitude within the Red Rose set-up.
England coach Eddie Jones is confident that his side can get the better of New Zealand
‘I didn’t need this win to make me believe we can beat the All Blacks — I thought we could beat the All Blacks back in 2016,’ said Jones.
‘Nothing has changed there. It just makes everyone feel a bit better. If you lose a game like that, it’s harder to pick them up. We won’t have to pick them up — we’ve just got to get them focused on the key things to beat the Kiwis.
‘I said to the boys after this game that I can’t wait. I cannot wait. They are the benchmark for world rugby; the team you want to play against.
‘Where you are in the world, you only know when you play against the All Blacks. Any team that wins 91 per cent of their games is a great team. What other teams in world sport do that?
England co-captain Owen Farrell insisted ahead of the game that ‘anyone can be beaten’
‘You’ve got to believe you can beat them. You’ve got to understand where they’re weak, understand where they’re strong and be disciplined in your game plan,’ said Jones, adding that he believed “100 per cent” that the win is possible.’
Co-captain Owen Farrell echoed this optimism: ‘Anyone can be beaten. I don’t think any team is unbeatable. They are a very good team, but they got beat not so long ago, didn’t they?’
New Zealand-born England centre Ben Te’o added: ‘Am I daunted by them? No, I’m not. I’m looking forward to playing them. We have to get out there, play with passion, be physical and have a real crack.’
Source: Read Full Article