England team news vs New Zealand: Manu Tuilagi starts as Owen Farrell wins 100th cap

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Manu Tuilagi will start for England against New Zealand with high praise as the world’s best player ringing in his ears.

England team-mate Henry Sladestill rates Tuilagi as the world’s best rugby player despite the powerhouse Sale centre’s torrid injury record.

Tuilagi made his England debut back in 2011 but will win just his 49th cap when starting tomorrow’s Autumn Nations Series clash with the All Blacks at Twickenham.

Boss Eddie Jones has kept faith with the Marcus Smith-Owen Farrell combination at 10 and 12, with captain Farrell winning his 100th England cap.

Maro Itoje slots back up to lock, allowing Sam Simmonds to make his first England appearance at blindside flanker with Billy Vunipola starting at No 8.

England boss Jones moved Itoje up to the second row to accommodate both Billy Vunipola and Exeter’s pacy forward Simmonds in the same line-up.

Freddie Steward stays at full-back, with Jack Van Poortvliet getting the nod over Ben Youngs at scrum-half.

Jack Nowell and Jonny May start on the wings, with Jones resisting the temptation to start Exeter playmaker Slade.

“This fixture doesn’t come around too often, and these are the games that players remember in their careers,” said Jones.

“New Zealand have had the upper hand over the years, but it’s been more balanced in recent times and the players have a chance to play their part in history.

“We’ve had a great week preparing for the game and the team is ready to go at them.

“We’re really pleased for Owen that he is reaching such a significant and special milestone.”

England team to face New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday: F Steward, J Nowell, M Tuilagi, O Farrell (c), J May, M Smith, J Van Poortvliet, E Genge, L Cowan-Dickie, K Sinckler, M Itoje, J Hill, S Simmonds, T Curry, B Vunipola. Replacements: J George, M Vunipola, W Stuart, D Ribbans, J Willis, B Youngs, G Porter, H Slade.