Manu Tuilagi could play on the wing for England against the All Blacks
Last Updated: 08/06/14 10:54pm
Manu Tuilagi could start on the wing for England in the second Test against New Zealand in Dunedin next Saturday.
Luther Burrell is available after helping Northampton win the Aviva Premiership title and Billy Twelvetrees' recovery from an ankle injury means England head coach Stuart Lancaster has his three first-choice centres all fit.
That could force Tuilagi out onto the wing and Lancaster is convinced the 23-year-old could be a force for the All Blacks to reckon with if he is played out wide.
"We've got a potential option of playing Manu on the wing. That has been talked about in selection," Lancaster said.
"We have not done that yet, but it's certainly something that could happen. Manu would definitely be a handful on the wing.
"He has certainly got pace - he's one of the quickest in our squad and can track back.
"He would be a significant threat off phase play and defensively he would be fine, he understands the system.
"Modern wings are used like (New Zealand's) Julian Savea, who creates mayhem from the wing, and I'm sure Manu could do the same."
Players from Northampton and Saracens watched the first Test from the stands and their availability will give Lancaster a selection headache for the second Test.
And Lancaster insists he will not be fielding players to give them big-match experience against the All Blacks and will instead look to play his strongest XV.
"It certainly is a very tough selection position to be in, but a good one in lots of ways. There are difficult decisions across the board," he said.
"The balance we want to achieve is what will help us win on Saturday because we can't go into this game being happy to lose but having developed the squad. It's got to be about winning the game.
"That's always been the aim and the objective and the belief is there in the team.
"What will help the team win on Saturday is what ultimately tips the balance of selection.
"I think the changes we'll make will give us an edge and that we'll get another lift in performance for the second Test.
"Combine the attitude of players who have sat on the sideline with the frustration of the players that played the first Test and hopefully it creates a powerful motivator."