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Saturday 28
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Rugby Union

Tuilagi back for Ireland battle

21st February 2020, 12:38 by Aidan Perkins

Centre Manu Tuilagi is fit again after a groin injury and returns to the England side for Sunday's Six Nations game with Ireland.

Tuilagi missed the victory over Scotland a fortnight ago but returns to Eddie Jones' XV for the Twickenham showdown this weekend.

There are four changes in total from the Murrayfield win, with prop Joe Marler coming in for the absent Mako Vunipola, while Ben Youngs returns at scrum-half in place of Willi Heinz and Courtney Lawes starts on the flank in place of Lewis Ludlam.

Elliot Daly is at fullback, with George Furbank injured, and centre Jonathan Joseph starts on the wing for his 50th cap.

Henry Slade, who has recovered from a fractured ankle, is back on a forwards-heavy bench alongside Charlie Ewels and Joe Launchbury.

Jones says England will face a stern test against the unchanged Irish, who have won their first two games of the championship and are coached by England captain Owen Farrell's father, Andy.

"Ireland are a very good team, extremely well-coached. They are a team we respect a lot," Jones said. "They will bring their usual physicality and under Andy Farrell they've opened up their game a little bit.

"They are a tactically-smart team. [Conor] Murray and [Johnny] Sexton, who have played 170 Tests between them, at nine and 10 will manage the game well.

"We've got to make sure we match their physicality and their emotion."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

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