sport news Manu Tuilagi returns to beef up England midfield and Ben Youngs gets the nod at ...

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs are set to return to England's starting XV for Sunday's pivotal Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham.

The Leicester pair are expected to take over from outside centre Jonathan Joseph and scrum-half Willi Heinz when head coach Eddie Jones names his side late on Friday morning. 

Tuilagi missed the win over Scotland at Murrayfield with a minor groin problem which had forced him off early during the opening defeat against France in Paris, while Youngs is poised to be restored to his familiar role as the starting No 9.

Manu Tuilagi is set to return for England to beef up their midfield for the clash with Ireland

Manu Tuilagi is set to return for England to beef up their midfield for the clash with Ireland

Ben Youngs will also be named in the starting XV as Jonathan Joseph and Willi Heinz miss out

Ben Youngs will also be named in the starting XV as Jonathan Joseph and Willi Heinz miss out

Eddie Jones has retained a squad of 27 to prepare for the encounter with title-chasing Irish

Eddie Jones has retained a squad of 27 to prepare for the encounter with title-chasing Irish

Tuilagi is likely to be included in the wider midfield channel, rather than at inside centre, even though Henry Slade is back in selection contention after injury. That means George Ford and Owen Farrell will continue their 10-12 alliance despite the physical threat posed by Ireland's imposing centres Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw.

Jones retained a squad of 27 to prepare for the encounter with the title-chasing Irish visitors, with cover needed due to minor niggles. Bath prop Beno Obano was on training duty again on Thursday and sources have indicated that his presence was due to Joe Marler being one of those players hampered by a slight fitness doubt.

Loosehead is an area of English strength, but Jones is already having to make do without his pre-eminent No 1, Mako Vunipola, as Saracens' veteran Lion is back in Tonga for family reasons. Marler would be the man most likely to step up, having already started in Paris. But if there is any doubt about his involvement, Ellis Genge would start after his match- winning exploits in Edinburgh, with Obano on stand-by for a bench role.

Joe Marler will undergo a late fitness test but is likely to be ready for clash at Twickenham

Joe Marler will undergo a late fitness test but is likely to be ready for clash at Twickenham

On Thursday night, the latest indications were that Marler would be declared fit, but there may be a late selection decision made about that part of the front row. 

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Likewise, Sportsmail understands that rookie Northampton full-back George Furbank is another who has been carrying a slight knock in training this week. If he was deemed unready for a third England appearance, Elliot Daly would revert to full-back, with

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