Catt warns cen­tre he must work harder to re­gain place RUGBY UNION – SIX NA­TIONS

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

MANU TUILAGI has been told he needs to raise the bar in train­ing if he is to force his way back into the Eng­land team for Sun­day’s key clash with Ire­land.

Tuilagi has re­cov­ered from the an­kle in­jury which kept him out of Eng­land’s 38-18 win against Scot­land and he is now com­pet­ing with Brad Bar­ritt and Billy Twel­ve­trees for a start in Dublin.

“It is al­ways dif­fi­cult but it is a great headache to have,” said Eng­land skills coach Mike Catt. “From a team point of view you have three guys and each of them bring spe­cial at­tributes.

“It is great that Billy has come along and per­formed the way he did against Scot­land on his de­but.

“Manu has been out of the game for three or four weeks. We will see how they all train and we will go ac­cord­ingly from there.


“If the guys have per­formed ex­cep­tion­ally well on the week­end, the guys coming in need to make sure they have the tempo and up the in­ten­sity to really put their hands for­ward.”

Bar­ritt runs the Eng­land de­fence, even from the less fa­mil­iar out­side cen­tre role he oc­cu­pied in Tuilagi’s ab­sence last week­end.

And Catt out­lined how im­por­tant that would be against an Ire­land side con­tain­ing both Jonathan Sex­ton and Brian O’Driscoll.

“It would be very hard tak­ing him out of the equa­tion,” Catt added.

“O’Driscoll is play­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well at the moment. I thought that first half Ire­land pro­duced against Wales was ex­cep­tional. We know they are ca­pa­ble of do­ing that.

“De­fence is across the board. Ev­ery­body knows their roles.

“We need to fo­cus on our at­tack­ing game too, which went pretty well against the Scots, and try to starve them of the ball so they can’t do what they are good at.”

Eng­land have not yet ruled out Ben Mor­gan from their Dublin plans af­ter the Glouces­ter No.8 sprained his an­kle against Scot­land.

But Mor­gan’s chances look bleak and James Haskell is set to start in his ab­sence, with Tom Wood shift­ing across the back row from blind­side flanker to No.8.

MAN IN POS­SES­SION: Tuilagi wants his shirt back off Twel­ve­trees who im­pressed against Scot­land

DE­CI­SIONS: Mike Catt

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