Manu Tuilagi to start against Ireland; Eddie Jones reshuffles England back three

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By Press Association

England head coach Eddie Jones has named his starting 15 to face Ireland in the Six Nations on Sunday.

It includes the fit-again Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi who has recovered from a groin injury that kept him out of the win over Scotland.

Eddie Jones has reshuffled the back three by naming Jonathan Joseph on the left wing and Elliot Daly at full-back.

Jones has been forced into the changes because of an unspecified injury sustained by George Furbank, who started the first two rounds of the Guinness Six Nations in the number 15 jersey.

There are four changes in personnel and two positional switches to the side that defeated Scotland 13-6 in the Calcutta Cup a fortnight earlier.

Tuilagi’s Leicester team-mate Ben Youngs is recalled at scrum-half, ousting Willi Heinz, but Mako and Billy Vunipola are unavailable.

Henry Slade is also present after two months out with an ankle injury but the Exeter Chiefs playmaker must settle for a place on the bench, which once again sees a six-two split between forwards and backs.

Courtney Lawes displaces Lewis Ludlam at blindside flanker with the young Northampton Saint missing out on the 23 altogether, while Joe Marler comes in for Mako Vunipola at loosehead prop.

George Ford and Owen Farrell are to continue the 10-12 axis.

England must defeat Ireland to remain in Six Nations title contention, while Andy Farrell’s men are chasing the Grand Slam.

“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, will manage the game well at nine and 10.

“We’ve got to make sure we match their physicality and their emotion on the weekend.”

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