Manu Tuilagi’s return to the England fold ahead of their clash with New Zealand has helped settle down Eddie Jones’ team, according to team-mate Ben Youngs.
Tuilagi has made the 25-man squad for Saturday’s Quilter international against the All Blacks at Twickenham after recovering from a minor groin strain.
He had been in line for a first international appearance in two years against South Africa last weekend but was forced to withdraw before England’s 12-11 victory.
“”I was gutted when he pulled out, but it was a tiny niggle. If it had happened on the Monday he would have probably been all right, but with someone like him, it was not worth risking,” Youngs said.
“It’s great to see him running around in training. I’m really please he’s able to get back out there. He’s looking good.
“We know what a world-class operator Manu is. It settles down the boys to know that he’s there.”
Leicester centre Tuilagi has good memories of facing the All Blacks. He was inspirational in England’s last win over New Zealand back in 2012, scoring and setting up vital tries as England won 38-21
Repeated knee, hamstring and groin injuries have since held his career back but the return of his attacking power could prove crucial as England look to do more than simply contain the world’s best team.
“One thing about the All Blacks is that you are going to have to score tries. We know that,” Youngs said.
“I don’t like the word ‘containing’ because it implies we will go out there and see what they have got.
“That is one thing we definitely don’t want to do because we know what they’re capable of. It’s about going out there and really taking the game to them.”
Tuilagi has been joined in the squad by Courtney Lawes who has overcome a back problem, but Tom Curry is out with an ankle injury sustained in the win over South Africa.
England also face Japan and Australia later in November.