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Tuilagi and Lawes fit for All Blacks test

08 November, 2018, 02:16 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Tuilagi in action against the All Blacks in Dunedin in 2014

Tuilagi was due to make his first global appearance in two years in the 12-11 victory over South Africa that opened the Quilter Internationals, only to withdraw from the bench because of a minor groin strain.

But the Leicester Tigers and British & Irish Lions centre has been passed fit this week and is in contention for a spot in the 23 that welcome New Zealand to Twickenham on Saturday. 'Seeing him in your team settles the boys down knowing he is there.

'You need game-breakers, don't you?

Tuilagi will forever be remembered for his dazzling display in the 38-21 triumph over the All Blacks at Twickenham in 2012. You know against New Zealand you're going to have to score tries, simply trying to slot penalties probably isn't going to be enough because of the threat they pose.

England have otherwise been given a clean bill of health ahead of Saturday's visit of New Zealand to Twickenham - the first time the rivals have met in four years.

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Some England players may doubt how well known they are to their Kiwi opponents, but Youngs is only too aware of the damage the world champions can cause. It's about going out there and really taking the game to them'.

Tuilagi played an important role in England's last victory over the No 1-ranked team and Youngs added they have the belief to replicate that performance. "We're really excited about the opportunity and I'm very excited and I know that my team-mates echo that as well".

He kept his place for last Saturday's match against the Springboks but looked in a good deal of pain when limping off two minutes into the second half.

"I think it's important to recognise that there's a reason they've been so dominant for years".

"We have got [Sam] Underhill or [Mark] Wilson that can play No 7 and there is an opportunity for [Zach] Mercer to play No 8".

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