Manu Tuilagi is a surprise selection on the wing for Saturday's clash with Australia as England make room in their midfield for Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell.

Tuilagi’s only previous Test appearance in the position came on tour against New Zealand in 2014 and the experiment was immediately abandoned by Eddie Jones’ predecessor as head coach, Stuart Lancaster.

The decision is shaped by Jones’ desire to field Smith at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre in a dual playmaker partnership for the Autumn Nations showdown at Twickenham (5.30pm).

Adam Radwan makes way for Tuilagi’s switch to the right wing and the Newcastle try machine can not even win a place on the bench despite a record of four touch downs in two Tests.

Henry Slade was a candidate to make way for the return of Farrell, who was ruled out of the 69-3 victory over Tonga by a false-positive test for Covid-19, but his man-of-the-match performance has convinced Jones to axe Radwan instead.

England’s pack remains unchanged with Maro Itoje set to win his 50th cap, while a six-two split on the bench sees a return for Sam Simmonds.

"We know this will be a tough test for us. We're playing against a team who have been together a while and who have beat the world champions twice. As an Australian I know how much this game means," Jones said.

"We’ve had a really good week of preparation, we’re looking to improve our performance this week and I think this side is building well."


England: Steward; Tuilagi, Slade, Farrell (capt) May; Smith, Youngs; Genge, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Lawes, Underhill, Curry.

Replacements: Blamire, Rodd, Stuart, Ewels, Dombrandt, Simmonds, Quirke, Malins.


Elsewhere, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has made four changes to his starting XV for this Saturday's autumn Test against South Africa (1pm).

Leicester centre Matt Scott earns his first start for the national team since June 2017, when he played against Italy in Singapore in Townsend’s first match in charge.

Glasgow’s Rufus McLean also comes back into the side after sitting out last weekend’s 15-13 win over Australia following a double try-scoring debut against Tonga the previous weekend.

Edinburgh's Nick Haining comes in to start in the back-row, while club-mate Stuart McInally is added at hooker.

Hamish Watson drops to the bench, while Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham and George Turner all drop out of the matchday squad.

Sale Sharks hooker Ewan Ashman, who scored a debut try as a replacement against the Wallabies, again starts on the bench.