England: Manu Tuilagi set for 50th cap as Eddie Jones names unchanged training squad for South Africa Test

Colin Newboult

Manu Tuilagi looks set to make his 50th appearance for England after being named in their wider training squad for the Autumn Nations Series clash against South Africa.

The centre has featured in all three internationals so far in November, but was taken off early in both the matches against Argentina and New Zealand.

Tuilagi made his debut for the Red Rose in 2011 but has struggled with injury throughout his career.

World Cup highlight

His best individual performance came as they beat New Zealand 38-21 at Twickenham in 2012, but his career highlight was arguably the Red Rose’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign.

The midfield powerhouse scored a try in the 19-7 semi-final victory over the All Blacks.

Tuilagi is not a guaranteed starter, however, with Eddie Jones potentially looking to make changes for the encounter against the Springboks this weekend.

The 31-year-old was off the field when England produced a stunning fightback to come from 25-6 behind with 10 minutes remaining to draw 25-25.

Mako Vunipola, Will Stuart, David Ribbans and Ben Youngs were among those to have impressed off the bench and could have earned starting roles this weekend.

One player who will almost certainly be in the XV is lock Maro Itoje, who is excited about Saturday’s encounter.

Improvement after disappointing display

“Playing South Africa at Twickenham – I’m really looking forward to it. I only wish the game is a little bit sooner because we left a lot out there against New Zealand,” Itoje said.

“While the second half was a bit more how we want to play, this week is an opportunity to hopefully play how we want to for the full 80 minutes.

“We have an incredible amount of potential in this team, we just need to unlock it. We are spending more and more time together and are becoming more cohesive, so hopefully it will come.

“I’m proud that we stuck at it (against New Zealand) and we didn’t go away and proud that we played some great rugby towards the end of that game, but we need to play like that for the whole game.

“You never want to be too happy with a draw, but it’s better than losing. Hopefully, it will put us in better stead for South Africa, who will be a great challenge.

South Africa haven’t changed the way they play since their first game in international rugby! Strong set-piece, strong kicking game, strong defence.”

England’s 36-man training squad

Forwards: Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, David Ribbans, Sean Robinson, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Will Stuart, Hugh Tizard, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Jack Willis

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Adam Radwan, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs

READ MORE: Eddie Jones backs the decision to settle for the draw against the All Blacks