England optimistic Manu Tuilagi will be fit to face All Blacks

England optimistic Manu Tuilagi will be fit to face All Blacks

Coach Eddie Jones was hopeful both would be fit to feature against the All Blacks and they have recovered enough to be included in the squad, much to the delight of their team-mates.

With Curry unavailable, England are likely to turn to another rookie flanker against New Zealand in the form of Bath's Sam Underhill.

Tuilagi has not played for England in two and a half years, and last started in 2014, due to injury problems but has been looking good of late although he pulled out of the South Africa game with a groin strain.

"He's in great physical shape and unfortunately had an injury previous year that ruled him out when he was going well, but he's an excellent player".

"You need guys that are going to be game-breakers and Manu's certainly one of those guys".

'We know what a world-class operator Manu is.

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"He's looking good in training but I don't make those decisions if he plays or not, I just know what he's capable of and I'm sure if he's given the opportunity that he would be able to certainly give us a lot of go-forward and be a key cog to this team".

Tuilagi was withdrawn from the bench on the eve of the stirring 12-11 victory over South Africa after sustaining the injury during training at the squad's Portugal camp. I'm really please he's able to get back out there. "It is about going out there and really taking the game to them".

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.

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.

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

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