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Ben Youngs: England have been boosted for New Zealand tie by presence of Manu Tuilagi

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 07/11/2018 Mick Cleary

(Video provided by Sky Sports)

Leicester scrum-half, Ben Youngs, believes that the England squad will be boosted for Saturday’s game against New Zealand at Twickenham by seeing Manu Tuilagi, the man who helped put the All Blacks to the sword in 2012, back in the ranks.

Youngs' Tigers teammate has been restored to the 25-man match-day squad after being forced to withdraw last Friday with a minor groin strain just 24 hours before kick-off against South Africa. That would have been the first start at Twickenham for the injury-plagued centre in five years.

Tuilagi is desperate to make up for lost time and there is little doubt that his ball-carrying will be an asset against New Zealand in much the manner it was when the blasting force of his play set the All Blacks on their heels in a 38-21 victory for England.

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There have been glimpses of such form during his return to front-line action for the Tigers in the Premiership and the European Champions Cup. Tuilagi came through a good work-out on Tuesday and has made the cut for players retained for the Quilter international on Saturday, England’s first game against the All Blacks in four years. Youngs has seen at close quarters the effect that Tuilagi has on a squad.

“We know what a world-class operator Manu is,” said Youngs. “Seeing him in your team settles the boys down knowing he is there. It was great to see him running round today. He is looking good.

"One thing about the All Blacks is that you are going to have to score tries. I don’t like talk of trying to ‘contain’ New Zealand because it implies that we will go out there and see what they have got. It is about going out there and really taking the game to them.”

Manu Tuilagi posing for the camera: Manu Tuilagi returned to England's training on Tuesday - Getty Images Europe © Getty Images Manu Tuilagi returned to England's training on Tuesday - Getty Images Europe There are two changes to the squad, both injury-enforced with Bath’s Sam Underhill stepping in for Sale Sharks flanker, Tom Curry, who has been ruled out of the entire November series with the ankle injury that forced him off just after half-time last weekend. Curry remains in camp and will see a specialist later in the week to assess the full extent of the injury.

Courtney Lawes has recovered from the back problem that caused him to return briefly from the training camp in Portugal and takes the place of Bath’s Elliot Stooke.  

England have also retained three other players for training purposes, Harlequins duo, centre Joe Marchant and wing, Nathan Earle. Saracens’ back, Alex Lozowski, currently serving a four week suspension, will also remain.

a group of people playing a game of football: Tuilagi helping England end New Zealand's 20-match unbeaten run in 2012 © Getty Images Tuilagi helping England end New Zealand's 20-match unbeaten run in 2012 Chris Ashton will be able to pass on some insider knowledge of the All Blacks having played with several of them at Toulon although (former New Zealand centre) Malakai Fekitoa will not be able to provide the same service in warning the All Blacks of Ashton’s try-scoring potency.

“Malakai didn’t even know what the Premiership was so I don’t think they pay much attention to us (as we do to them),” said Ashton.

Video: England v All Blacks (Extended Highlights) in 2012 (Radio New Zealand)

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