Manu Tuilagi to be dropped from England squad by Steve Borthwick

Joe Marchant is set to be recalled to England’s starting line-up to face Scotland on Saturday, with Manu Tuilagi in line to be dropped from the squad entirely.

ritish media reports indicate Marchant will join Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell in midfield with Ollie Lawrence, a late call-up to the squad, and Anthony Watson providing backline cover.

The move reinforces Steve Borthwick’s preference for mobility over power, which has been apparent throughout the build-up to the Six Nations. Given England have seemed reliant on Tuilagi for so long, the selection is also a strong sign that this is a new era for the team.

Ollie Hassell-Collins is poised for a Test debut on the left wing, with Max Malins and Freddie Steward completing the back three. The latter two dovetailed for most of the 2022 Six Nations until Malins was dropped for the visit to France.

A midfield of Smith, Farrell and Marchant has been seen once before, in the first Test against Australia last summer.

Marchant, who will join Stade Francais next season, was unceremoniously axed after that defeat in Perth and did not appear during Eddie Jones’ final autumn in charge. He had been outstanding against both Ireland and France at the end of the 2022 Six Nations.

His recall, in harness with Smith, could help England to implement the methods of Nick Evans, the attack coach who is with Borthwick on secondment from Harlequins.

Lawrence has been in exceptional form for Bath. The 23-year-old, an age-grade team-mate of Smith, covers both centre positions and would be winning a first cap since July 2021, when England ousted USA at Twickenham. 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »