MANU TUILAGI HAS been named in the England team to face Ireland in the opening round of the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday [KO 4.45pm, Virgin Media One].
With the injured Ben Te’o ruled out, Tuilagi is selected as an inside centre, lining up in a midfield that also includes Henry Slade.
The Leicester Tigers player, who has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons, will be starting a Six Nations fixture for the first time since 2013.
Elliot Daly has been preferred at full-back to Mike Brown. Jonny May and Jack Nowell will start on the wings, while captain Owen Farrell is partnered at half-back by Ben Youngs.
In the front row, Saracens pair Mako Vunipola and Jamie George are joined by Kyle Sinckler of Harlequins. George Kruis gets the nod in the second row alongside Saracens colleague Maro Itoje, while Mark Wilson, Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola make up the back row.
Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson could make his international debut after being included on a bench that also includes experienced campaigners such as Courtney Lawes, George Ford and Chris Ashton.
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England (v Ireland):
15. Elliot Daly (Wasps)
14. Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
12. Manu Tuiagi (Leicester Tigers)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens — captain)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
2. Jamie George (Saracens)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens)
5. George Kruis (Saracens)
6. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
18. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
20. Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps)
22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
23. Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
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