Owen Farrell backs England teammate Manu Tuilagi to thrive on the wing
England coach Stuart Lancaster is considering moving the 112-kilogram line-breaking centre out wide as he has a logjam of midfield options heading into the second Test with New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
Billy Twelvetrees, Luther Burrell and Brad Barritt are all back in the mix after their enforced absence last week, while Kyle Eastmond gave a good account of himself in last weekend’s narrow 20-15 loss in the series opener in Auckland.
“The way modern wings are used, like (New Zealand’s) Julian Savea, he creates mayhem from the wing and I’m sure Manu could do the same,” Lancaster told the English media.
Tuilagi played on the wing in the England Under-18 side, alongside Farrell, who backed his team-mate to cause defenders’ headaches regardless of which position he played.
“At age-grade rugby we just tended to give him the ball to see what happened,” Farrell told rfu.com.
“But he’s still a massive threat now. To have him anywhere on the field brings a lot to any team. To have him there will create opportunities. We would have a powerful backline.”
Farrell, who is expected to replace Freddie Burns in the number 10 jersey this week after watching the last-gasp defeat from the stands at Eden Park, said patience was the key to toppling the world champions.
“To beat New Zealand, in the last few minutes you need to be patient,” Farrell said.
“A try takes only 30 seconds to be scored and that can be done before or after the 80 minutes is up.
“It’s about not panicking, doing what you’ve done in training and making sure you take your chances.”
Farrell is likely to resume his halves partnership with Danny Care, who missed the first Test after hurting his shoulder in a freak training ground mishap.
Care and Farrell first played together in this year’s Six Nations.
“He’s obviously a world-class player and someone who can take any opportunity that comes,” Farrell said.
“Not only that but he can make something out of nothing. To be able to play off the back of that is huge. Danny’s a brilliant player.”
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