Six Nations

Jones adamant Tuilagi could face Wales

Eddie Jones still hopes to include Manu Tuilagi in the England squad to face Wales next month and says Luther Burrell could make his international comeback against Ireland on Saturday.

Tuilagi has not played for his country since June 2014, but made a return from injury for Leicester Tigers in their Premiership defeat to Harlequins last Friday.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill feels Tuilagi is not ready to play for England in the Six Nations, but Jones believes the powerful centre could face Warren Gatland's side at Twickenham on March 12.

When asked if Tuilagi could play against Wales, Jones said: "Definitely. I'll have to have that conversation with the [Leicester] head coach, but that's the planning. We'd like to look at that. I was pleased to watch him play."

"I think inside centre is his best position. He's not a 13. That's what I know he's not. He's definitely a 12. He can carry the ball across the gain line.

"He threw a beautiful left-to-right pass on Friday night. And then he threw a terrible right to left, so maybe he's left handed!

"But he's got the ability to catch and pass. I haven't seen him kick but there's no reason he can't learn to kick. We have a reasonable kicking mentor here [Jonny Wilkinson]. He's got all the attributes to be an outstanding 12."

Fellow centre Burrell has been called up to replace the injured Ollie Devoto ahead of the game against champions Ireland at Twickenham after impressing Jones with his performances for Northampton Saints.

Jones said: "The reason we left Luther out in the first place was because he wasn't good enough to be in the squad. He had flaws in his game and was making a lot of mistakes.

"When I left him out of the squad I spoke to him briefly and said there were certain things he had to look to do.

"I think he's done that brilliantly and looks like he's getting better every day. That's the sort of player we want in the squad. He's definitely in contention for Ireland. We need an inside back to cover Ollie's spot.

"We've got Sam Hill and we have experimented with Elliot Daly at 12. He obviously gives us good cover in that he could potentially play 12, 13 and 15 and left wing."