Rugby World Cup 2019: Henry Slade & Manu Tuilagi bond key to England success
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By Tom Fordyce
Chief sports author in Sapporo, Japan
Centre Henry Slade says his bond with midfield partner Manu Tuilagi can shoot England to World Cup success.
If selected at the Sapporo Dome against Tonga on Sunday slade is best fit to start , with coach Eddie Jones due to announce his team on Friday.
“Manu is so great to play – how we could use him to get is over the gain-line or maybe to run decoy lines is a massive weapon,” Slade said.
“It gives me a lot of time to play from the back of that and everywhere.”
He added:”We now have different strengths and quite different weaknesses, and I think we complement one another and cover each other’s flaws”
Jones utilized Slade and Tuilagi jointly throughout the Six Nations out Owen Farrell at fly-half, having favored to utilize George Ford in 10 and Farrell in inside-centre.
And Slade maintains his understanding together with all the 28-year-old Tuilagi has been promoted by just how much the two enjoy one another’s company from the pitch.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live:”We have always got on very well ever since we’ve known each other.
“We were in camps to get a couple years but never actually regularly – that he had been constantly fit when I was injured or I was fit and he had been hurt.
“But we have always made. I went to Dubai following the Six Nations – Manu was out there with his wife and child, therefore we have a couple of days with him, and I had been out there using Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell.
“I really feel like I get on really well with himand that bond away from the pitch does play a major part on it.
“It can take time learning how to play with each other, but he and I have managed to pick this up pretty fast.
“Manu’s in quite good form. He’s got through the whole of this pre-season, that has been very great, although a real mill although tough.
“He seems like he’s hungry to do well. I am excited to see what he can.”
England travelled north from sub-tropical Miyazaki from the far north west on Wednesday, states in the far north 12 degrees cooler than they had been on the island of Kyushu, the wet weather on coming considerably indicative of fall back home into Sapporo.
Even though Mako Vunipola and also Jack Nowell are still on track to get a return from harm later from the group stage, short-term harm doubts Mark Wilson and winger Joe Cokanasiga have returned to fuller training.
Coach Eddie Jones has so far kept the players in the dark concerning his selection strategies for Sunday, the turnaround before England game against the USA indicating he’ll look at all his options before the evaluations of France and Argentina.
Slade stated:”You can never really tell with Eddie. We love to try different mixes and we have so many players, particularly in midfield.
“What is great about our midfield options is that everyone’s got different strengths, therefore whatever the coaches wish to choose, they have got an choice to select.
“All we can keep doing to spurring each other on as players, driving each other to keep improving.”
Slade was a regular along with Tuilagi during England’s Six Nations campaign this year, scoring his global campaign .
He touched a week afterwards, down again against France, that burgeoning facility partnership one of the highlights to England in a campaign that then decelerated from draw against Scotland and Wales in Cardiff with defeat.
A knee injury kept the from four of England’s warm-up matches to this World Cup, but he is prepared to reignite that volatile mix later coaching since coming in Japan.
He said:”The knee’s good – I’ve had a couple of weeks now to rehabilitation and get it better.
“I’m feeling more and more confident every day, and I get the opportunity to test it out at the weekend.
“Originally I was worried. You don’t know until you receive your results back what it might be . It could have been a whole lot worse, but so it was a enormous relief”
Slade turned into a last-minute bolter for Stuart Lancaster’s squad, impressing against France when England had gone out.
“Last World Cup that I was just over the moon to be selected,” he said.
“I had no expectations going in that camp, but this time that I’ve had quite a lot of excellent game-time, and feel a real part of the squad.
“I have had a gigantic drive from the past World Cup to needing to play a much bigger part in such a one.
“I feel like the final Six Nations was a real step in the perfect direction for me. Before that, possibly not having played I had been quite frustrated.
“Hopefully when I get the opportunity I will keep progressing.”
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