Tuilagi will be fighting for a starting shirt with Fraser Dingwall

England centre Manu Tuilagi is back in the squad to prepare for their Six Nations clash against Scotland on 24 February.

Tuilagi missed the first two rounds of the 2024 tournament with a groin injury. The Sale Sharks player will be competing for the inside centre jersey with Fraser Dingwall, who has started the first two games of the competition. Dingwall scored his first England try in their 16-14 win over Wales at Twickenham but traditionally Tuilagi is usually picked by his country when he is fit.

Related: England Six Nations squad

Second-row/six George Martin and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie also return to the squad after recovering from injury.

The announcement of England’s 36-man preparation squad did not hold only good news for fans, though. While fly-half Marcus Smith and centre Ollie Lawrence are joining up with the team, they are doing so in an injury rehab role.

Smith is carrying a calf problem and Lawrence has a hip issue. Their inclusion in the squad does give supporters some hope they could be involved for the Calcutta Cup clash at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Newcastle hooker Jamie Blamire, Northampton flanker Tom Pearson and Harlequins’ utility back Oscar Beard have all been released back to their clubs.

Scotland v England will be a match between one of rugby’s oldest rivals. It will see England attempt to beat Scotland in the tournament for the first time since 2020.

In the 2023 tournament, Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe produced the try of the competition. He beat several defenders and ran 55m to dot down in their 29-23 win at Twickenham.

Fly-half George Ford has been speaking about the nature of the games between the nations. “We want to stick to our plan and not give the opposition what they want,” he said via The Guardian. “They’re obviously ­trying to impose what they want on you, too. It’s a battle of that, and a lot of it comes down to who wins the game physically and with their intent and attitude.

“You’ve got to be good off the back of it, course you have. They’re frosty, those England-Scotland games, they’re right up there.”

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