Six Nations: England recall Manu Tuilagi at centre ahead of France clash

Last Updated: 23/02/13 7:16pm

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Manu Tuilagi returns to the England midfield for the France clash

Manu Tuilagi returns to the England midfield for the France clash

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England have recalled Manu Tuilagi for Saturday's Six Nations showdown with France at Twickenham.

The burly Leicester centre ousts Billy Twelvetrees from Stuart Lancaster's XV as one of three changes to the side that barged past Ireland 12-6 in Dublin two weeks ago.

An ankle injury ruled Tuilagi out of England's 38-18 victory over Scotland at the start of the month but he made a significant impact from the bench at the Aviva Stadium, further enhancing his match fitness by turning out for the Tigers last weekend.

Last 5 meetings

France 22 England 24 (2012)
France 19 England 12 (2011)*
England 17 France 9 (2011)
France 12 England 10 (2010)
England 34 France 10 (2009)
* World Cup in New Zealand

Dylan Hartley is preferred to Tom Youngs at hooker with the latter continuing to struggle at the lineout, and Hartley's Northampton club-mate Courtney Lawes steps into the back row in place of James Haskell.

Lawes, 23, has figured primarily at lock since making his Red Rose debut in 2009 but is named in a makeshift back row on this occasion alongside Tom Wood, who continues to deputise for the injured Ben Morgan at No 8.

Lancaster said: "We thought long and hard about changing a winning team which did so well against Ireland. But we believe that Dylan, Courtney and Manu are ready for the opportunity and allow us to vary our play, while the bench will add impact and energy as the game unfolds in the second half.

"The players are really looking forward to getting back to Twickenham; the atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic and hopefully the crowd can get behind us in what is sure to be a great challenge against a motivated and physical French team."

France will arrive in London as a side suffering from wounded pride - Les Bleus were stunned 23-18 in Italy in their tournament opener before a humiliating 16-6 defeat to Wales in Paris last time out.

England: Goode, Ashton, Tuilagi, Barritt, Brown, Farrell, B Youngs; Marler, Hartley, Cole, Parling, Launchbury, Lawes, Robshaw (c), Wood.
Replacements: T Youngs, Wilson, M Vunipola, Haskell, Waldrom, Care, Flood, Twelvetrees.

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