England defence coach Anthony Seibold has described Manu Tuilagi’s physicality as ‘immense’ after he was named in the 35-man squad to prepare for Saturday’s match against Wales at Twickenham.
Seibold was full of praise for the 30-year-old centre, who is set to return this weekend after sustaining a hamstring injury in England’s victory over South Africa in November.
Speaking to the BBC’s Radio 5 Live, he said: “He’s had 80 minutes of rugby and a full week in camp. His body is in good condition and his body weight to power output is immense at the moment.
“He creates momentum when he carries the ball in attack and defensively, he is so good with his first contact.
“To add to that is his decision-making as a defender is really good, he’s got great game-awareness, so he adds so much to our group and has so much experience.”
Tuilagi will be hoping to make an impact having not played for England in the Guinness Six Nations since their 2020 clash against Wales, also at Twickenham, where he scored and was shown a red card in a thrilling 33-30 win.
Meanwhile prop Joe Marler returns to the squad after getting game time for Harlequins.
Marler, 31, played a key role in his side’s 29-24 Premiership win against Wasps at the weekend, getting 69 minutes on the field having only been given 31 across England’s defeat to Scotland and victory over Italy in the opening two rounds.
Further back in the pack, second row Joe Launchbury could make a first appearance for England since 2020 as he comes back from a long lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee, while Courtney Lawes is in line to captain as he returns from return-to-play protocols.
Forwards: Alfie Barbeary, Jamie Blamire, Ollie Chessum, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Maro Itoje, Nick Isiekwe, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart
Backs: Orlando Bailey, Elliot Daly, George Ford, George Furbank, Louis Lynagh, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jack Nowell, Raffi Quirke, Adam Radwan, Harry Randall, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs