Henry Slade enjoying 'balanced' England centre partnership with Ben Te'o
Watch England take on the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday live on Sky Sports Action from 2pm
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 07/11/19 2:56pm
Henry Slade enjoyed playing outside Ben Te'o in the centre of England’s midfield against South Africa.
In the win over the Springboks, Owen Farrell started at fly-half for England for just the third time since the 2015 World Cup, clearing the way for Te'o to play at first centre with Slade at No 13.
It marked a change from the summer of South Africa, when Slade partnered Farrell in the centre with George Ford at No 10.
Slade feels the ability of the 16-stone, 6ft 2in Te'o to get across the gain line adds a power element England were lacking over the summer.
"It gave us a real good balance across the midfield," Slade told Sky Sports News.
"Myself and Ben have got different strengths so it enables us to play to those strengths rather than, I think in the summer I was hitting crash ball lines. That is not really my bag.
"We have got Ben who is a big lad and can get us over the gain line and I can help out Faz [Farrell] as that second distributor and playmaker.
"So I think we have got a good balance."
The return of Leicester star Manu Tuilagi - who missed the win against South Africa due to a groin strain - means Eddie Jones has a difficult decision to make about who starts in the centre against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday.
Tuilagi poses a threat to Slade's No 13 jersey but the Exeter Chiefs man feels they can play together.
"He has looked good in training this week so I am looking forward to hopefully getting on the field with him if picked," Slade said.
"He is real good athlete. He is obviously a big, big lad and can get you over the gain line but he is actually pretty quick as well.
"Someone that big, running that quick is a scary prospect so I am excited to have him in the squad. He gives us a real good option."