Tuilagi and Nowell back for England to face the All Blacks

Rugby Union - International - England Training - Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Britain - November 11, 2022 England's Manu Tuilagi, Marcus Smith and Jack Nowell during training Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo

LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Manu Tuilagi is back in the England team to face New Zealand on Saturday, with Jack Nowell also restored to the starting team having withdrawn shortly before last week's win over Japan with a stomach issue.

Maro Itoje will move back to the second row as coach Eddie Jones has gone for an unfamiliar back-row of Tom Curry at seven, Sam Simmons at six and Billy Vunipola at eight in the team named on Thursday.

Owen Farrell continues at centre, outside Marcus Smith, where the captain will make his 100th appearance for England.

Prop Will Stuart returns from injury and is among the replacements, as are David Ribbans, Jack Willis, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Guy Porter and Henry Slade. The game is the first between the teams since England's 19-7 victory in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, when Tuilagi scored England's only try after two minutes.

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

"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."

Commenting on Farrell, who made his debut under Stuart Lancaster in 2012, Jones said: "We’re really pleased for Owen that he is reaching such a significant and special milestone. He is an excellent player and competitor and he is deserving of every cap."

After Saturday's game, England complete their November series against South Africa next weekend.

England team to play New Zealand 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps) 14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 43 caps) 13. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 48 caps) 12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 99 caps) 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 70 caps) 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 15 caps) 9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps) 1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 41 caps) 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 39 caps) 3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 54 caps) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 60 caps) 5. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 17 caps) 6. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 16 caps) 7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 43 caps) 8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 66 caps) Replacements 16. Jamie George (Saracens, 70 caps) 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 72 caps) 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 23 caps) 19. David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 1 cap) 20. Jack Willis (unattached, 5 caps) 21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 119 caps) 22. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps) 23. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 50 caps)

Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ken Ferris

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