Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs return for England vs Ireland Six Nations clash
Joe Marler and Courtney Lawes start at loosehead prop and blindside flanker respectively; Henry Slade among replacements after ankle injury
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 21/02/20 1:20pm
Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs have returned to the England XV as part of four changes made by Eddie Jones for their Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday.
Tuilagi replaces the injured George Furbank, with the Leicester Tiger starting at outside-centre, Jonathan Joseph shifting to the wing and Elliot Daly moving to full-back.
Youngs returns at scrum-half to win his 98th cap for England and 100th Test cap (two for British & Irish Lions) in place of Willi Heinz, who made his first Championship start against Scotland in Round 2.
Two further changes come at loosehead prop, with Joe Marler in to replace Saracens' Mako Vunipola - who is away in Tonga for family reasons - and Courtney Lawes replacing Lewis Ludlam at blindside flanker.
Tuilagi was forced to exit early in England's opening loss to France in Paris due to a groin injury, and missed out on the narrow victory over Scotland in Edinburgh in Round 2.
Henry Slade features in the 23 for the first time in the tournament, the Exeter Chief named among the replacements after recovering from a fractured ankle.
The rest of the side remains unchanged as Jones opts again to go with the dual-playmaker system of George Ford at 10 and Owen Farrell at inside-centre, while Jonny May is named on the right wing.
In the forwards, Jamie George and Kyle Sinkler complete an all-Lions front-row with Marler, while Saracens pair Maro Itoje and George Kruis are again paired in the second row. Tom Curry starts his third consecutive Test in the No 8 position, with Sam Underhill again at openside.
The replacements bench shows a 6-2 split once again, with lock Charlie Ewels returning alongside Wasps second row Joe Launchbury and Saracens back-row Ben Earl.
"We've had a really good training week with Thursday probably our best session of the Six Nations," Jones said on Friday.
"Ireland are a very good team, extremely well-coached. They are a team we respect a lot. They will bring their usual physicality and under Andy Farrell they've opened up their game a little bit.
"They are a tactically smart team. Murray and Sexton, who have played 170 Tests between them, at nine and 10 will manage the game well. We've got to make sure we match their physicality and their emotion on the weekend.
"We trained at Twickenham Stadium in front of 10,000 fans last Friday and we can't wait to get back out there in front of 80,000 people on Sunday."
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonathan Joseph, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Tom Curry.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Charlie Ewels, 21 Ben Earl, 22 Willi Heinz, 23 Henry Slade.