Manu Tuilagi Returns to England Starting lineup

The destructive England center, who has been dubbed the best player in the world, will try to put on another outstanding performance against New Zealand.

For Saturday's match at Twickenham, Tuilagi is expected to return to the midfield after being given a supporting role from the bench in a crushing victory over Japan that helped the fall season get back on track.

And after witnessing him loosen up during the All Blacks' losses to England in 2012 and 2019, his occasional center partner Henry Slade thinks the All Blacks will be mindful of the threat he offers.

“We have a really good relationship off the field and that translates on to it,” said Slade, who played as a replacement full-back against the Brave Blossoms.

“Manu’s a great guy and what he brings to the team is pretty obvious in terms of how powerful he is. I don’t think there’s any other centre like him in world rugby. In my view, he’s the best player in the world because of what he can give you. For a guy who doesn’t do weights… he doesn’t do any and he’s one of the most powerful guys I’ve ever met, so it’s pretty scary what he could be like. It’s not just about what he brings in terms of getting over the gain line, but the amount of space he can create for others by doing that and by being the threat he is. If you go to the line, you have to respect that Manu could get the ball and bust you at any point. The headaches he must give defences is nuts. He’s awesome to play with. He has done great things against the All Blacks in the past, but he can do great things against any team. He is a hard guy to stop. Having him in the team always gives you that bit of confidence, that good feeling. It’s going to be a big weekend for him and he’s a big guy for us.”


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