Tuilagi and Yarde in extended England squad for Wales


Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi and London Irish winger Marland Yarde have been included in a 32-man England squad that will train together this week ahead of the Six Nations clash with Wales this weekend.

Tuilagi came through 69 minutes of action for the Tigers against the Falcons at the weekend, while Yarde has one full appearance and one substitute appearance to his name since returning from an injury suffered in the autumn.

Other players also named in the squad to train this week are Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns and openside Matt Kvesic, Saracens wing Chris Ashton, Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs and Exeter flanker Tom Johnson.

With Billy Vunipola injured, Ben Morgan is the only recognised no.8 in the squad, with Kvesic and Johnson set to fight it out for a spot on the bench.

England squad preparing to face Wales:

Forwards (16): David Attwood, Dylan Hartley, Matt Kvesic, Tom Johnson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Ben Morgan, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Ed Slater, Henry Thomas, Mako Vunipola, David Wilson, Tom Wood, Tom Youngs.

Backs (18): Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown, Freddie Burns, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Lee Dickson, Kyle Eastmond, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees, Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.

Who do you want to see named in the matchday squad to take on Wales?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

23 thoughts on “Tuilagi and Yarde in extended England squad for Wales

  1. 1. Marler. 2. Hartley. 3. Wilson. 4. Lawes. 5. Launchbury. 6. Wood. 7. Robshaw. 8. Morgan. 9. Care. 10. Farrell. 11. May. 12. Twelvetrees. 13. Burrell. 14. Yarde. 15. Brown

    16. Youngs. 17. Vunipola. 18. Thomas. 19. Attwood. 20. Johnson. 21. Youngs. 22. Ford 23. Nowell

    Yarde should come back in, he has been fit a few weeks and shown enough to come back in. Tuilagi it is too soon for, and I don’t think he is versatile enough to take a bench spot. Nowell onto the bench, as he can cover wing and 15.

    I’d also bring Ben Youngs back. Looked sharper at the weekend, and I maintain on form he is the best all round 9 that we have.

    Johnson I would give the bench spot to, mainly though a slightly lack of options here. Dickinson and Ewers would be a like for like. Haskell anyone?

    1. Nowell/Yarde will work fine regardless of who starts, if Yarde’s fully fit then hard to argue with him getting the starting shirt.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Dickson and Ford play together. I think Ford will make far better use of the quick ball away from the ruck than Farrell (who is working better with a play making 9). An in form Youngs is a better SH than Dickson and has more history with Ford, so no complaints either way.

    2. I think you’ve got it spot on Jacob. I was really hoping SL would pick another 8 to have on the bench. I’m just hoping that if whoever comes on for Morgan (because I think someone will have to come on), can do a job at 8, because we know that Wood cannot. I like the idea of Johnson at 8, as he has a bit more pace to move the ball away if necessary.

  2. Good to see these guys back in the squad. Yarde should make the 23, hopefully at the expense of Goode.

    I’m underwhelmed (but not surprised) at having no tight head, specialist number 8 or hooker called up , An injury to any one of which means an emergency introduction of someone outside the squad …. or Wood at 8.

  3. I would replace Nowell with Yarde. I don’t think Nowell or May have really done enough over the last three games to convince me that they should be above Yarde and Wade. I know Wade hasn’t been able to really showcase his talents yet but I still rank him above those two. I know Yarde has played left wing this season so perhaps move May to the right where he played in Argentina.
    I would bring Youngs and Tuilagi onto the bench as well. Both have real points of difference, and Tuilagi can cover the wing in an emergency. Right now our wing cover is Mike Brown, so having Tuilagi there is no less makeshift in my opinion.

    Marler, Hartley Cole; Launchbury, Lawes; Wood, Robshaw, Morgan; Care, Farrell; May, Twelvetrees, Burrell, Yarde, Brown.

    Youngs, Vunipola, Thomas, Attwood, Johnson, Youngs, Ford, Tuilagi

    1. Only 2 games in 7 months for Tuilagi and not part of the squad so far this campaign. Think it’s too early, if we are in a points race for the championship after this weekend then he can be looked at against Italy if he gets a a decent club game under his belt.

      1. Problem with that is it’s the LV= Cup semi-finals this weekend, and Tigers aren’t involved. He won’t be getting any game time until after the Six Nations has finished.

  4. I think this game has come round a bit too soon for Tuilagi and I don’t think that Yarde has done anything to warrant inclusion. I think he’s a good player and I believe his performances for Irish have been good, but he’s hardly a proven international and nailed on starter. Wish Foden was in the squad, never really had a bad game for England and would offer back 3 cover, and looked much sharper on his return from injury than Tuilagi did.

    1. Of our wing options (barring Ashton) who is a proven international though? May and Nowell haven’t done a huge amount. May was poor against Ireland and Scotland and Nowell, whilst looking busy, hasn’t shown us any real x-factor that Yarde has. Yarde was first choice wing at the beginning of the season and I don’t think Nowell or May have done enough to shift him from that position. Yarde and May to start, however I have no idea what Lancaster will do.

      1. That’s a good point. One thing I would raise in favour of Nowell is that his defence is excellent. Far better than either of Yarde or Wade. For this particular game, when one winger may be facing North (dependent on where he gets picked) I would go with Nowell. Think Lancaster will stick with the same starting team, with Johnson on the bench and possibly B Youngs too.

      2. Dave, May wasn’t poor against either Scotland or Ireland.

        Certainly he made one poor decision and one poor execution against Ireland, but he did plenty in both games to mitigate a general “poor”.

        I am a big fan of Yarde (more so than wade I must say), but I would stick with both the incumbents, with Yarde on the bench. Away from his tries against Argentina, lets not forget that he has had his “poor” moments in the white shirt as well.

  5. Tuilagi, Yarde and Foden return from injury whilst Youngs, Barritt and Goode all pitch performances likely to catch one’s eye.
    Lancaster has got one hell of a conundrum to solve, and to do so with Wales looming will probably prove to be his biggest test yet with England.
    I’m all for Jacob’s lineup but am worried about who will be at the back of the scrum when Morgan eventually heaves himself off.

  6. If I were Lancaster, I would keep the same starting 15. We are finally starting to gain consistency behind the scrum, we shouldn’t disrupt it now. If I was going to bring Yarde in for anyone it would be May to be honest. Nowell hasn’t had any clear cut try scoring opportunities, May has had one(arguably two) and utterly butchered it. Nowell is also a robust defender and will need to be if he’s against North!
    Tuilagi, just no. He’s just not ready for such an important international fixture after 2 games in 7 months and (whisper it quietly) I think Wales have worked him out. In the previous 2 fixtures against them he has been utterly silent. At least Burrell offers a degree of distribution.
    Same 15, Yarde or Watson onto the bench.

    1. Courtney Lawes made a good point that you can make a mistake or have a bad game and know that you won’t get dropped straight away.

      I think ditching May when he offers would be a bad idea, especially seeing as there aren’t many obvious replacements, we need to develop the depth of the playing resources and that he’s done a lot of good work. He shouldn’t be penalised for one mistake.

  7. Prediction: same 15. Goode to replace Ford as auxiliary fly half, Johnson as backrow cover and either Manu or Yarde in the 23, probably the former.

    Not saying I agree with it but that is what I think SL will do. He’ll reason that Goode acquitted himself well at 10 and that this will make room for a luxury pick who can only really cover one position.

  8. For all those clamouring for Yarde, I’m not exactly sure he’s done anything particularly of note. Thought May and Nowell have done alright. Both have made mistakes, but both have done some good things as well. I think it might just be a gentle reminder from SL!

    Believe that Morgan is much fitter than he was so am not so worried about a straight 8 replacement.

    Definitely too early for Tuilagi. Get him and the others back in the squad and get them ready for Italy (possibly) or NZ.

    Strength in depth may just be our undoing. We don’t know who to pick! Glad I’m not SL.

    Brown, Foden
    May, Nowell, Yarde, Wade
    Tuilagi, Burrell, 12Ts, Barritt
    Farrell, Ford
    Care, Youngs
    Morgan, Vunipola
    Robshaw, Kvesic
    Wood, Croft
    Launchbury, Lawes, Parling, Attwood
    Corbisiero, Marler
    Hartley, Youngs
    Cole, Wilson

    That’s not a bad one two in every position, and several notable omissions. If only they would all be fit at the same time!

    1. Yarde was in great early season form (some really nice tries). If he’s fully fit then he should start, he’s bigger, faster, better at breaking tackles, an excellent passer and has a far better try scoring record.

      Nowell is industrious and makes a lot of useful contributions but looks short on speed (at the moment) for an international wide man.

      For me it all hinges on how fit and sharp Yarde is.

      1. Definitely agree on Yarde – should be in.

        Nowell reminds me of Mike Brown. He should be, and eventually will be, a 15. It is good that he is getting game time, and does a job on the wing. But long term I see him being a replacement for Brown. He has a really good skill set, very strong defensively, and like Brown, always seems to break tackles and make yards.

    2. There’s a few more names to add to that list as well who already have caps.
      Corbisdiero, Marler, M. Vunipola
      Cole, Wilson, Thomas
      Wood, Croft, Johnson

  9. Have to say I was impressed by Tuilagi’s stint the other day, hardly looks like he’s been away as long as he had this season. That said, I might not consider starting him, but his impact off the bench would be a great turning point at 55-60 minutes. I wasn’t expecting him to play as much as he did yesterday so it’s definitely promising

  10. Saw Yarde play at Sandy Park against Exeter on Saturday and he was dire, not back to his old self and the worse he played the more petulant he got…..disappointing. Nowell’s defence should be enough for him to start against Wales. Johnson on the bench as he can cover all 3 back row positions

  11. Marler, Hartley, Wilson,
    Launchbury, Lawes
    Wood, Robshaw, Morgan
    Care, Farrell,
    Twelvetrees, Burrell,
    May, Nowell, Brown

    vunipola, youngs, thomas, attwood, johnson, youngs, ford, yarde

    Shame Johnson isn’t 5 years younger he is a great carrier and has great handling skills, deserved more

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