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Manu Tuilagi has returned to England training ahead of their eagerly anticipated Six Nations encounter with Wales at Twickenham on 12 March. The Samoan-born Leicester Tigers centre has not played a single minute of international rugby since the 2014 tour of New Zealand after being ruled out for 15 months with a groin injury.
Although he was included in new head coach Eddie Jones' first Elite Player Squad (EPS), his hopes of featuring during the early rounds of this year's tournament were scuppered by a hamstring strain suffered during a 36-21 European Champions Cup defeat at Stade Francais in January. Tuilagi missed three club matches before returning to Aviva Premiership action against Harlequins earlier this month and recently impressed for Richard Cockerill's side during their comprehensive seven-try victory over London Irish.
"There's always time," Jones said of Tuilagi's chances of making the squad for Wales following a 21-10 victory over Ireland that kept England's grand slam hopes intact. "He's a good enough player to come into the squad.
"I went and watched him play at Harlequins two weeks ago and he looked in pretty good nick. He's probably only got 20 minutes of test rugby in him at the moment but that 20 minutes could be pretty good."
In addition to Tuilagi, Jones has also opted to include Dave Ewers. The Exeter Chiefs back-rower damaged knee ligaments in December, joining highly-rated teammate Henry Slade on Rob Baxter's list of casualties. The uncapped 25-year-old made his comeback with a 60-minute outing during the win over Bath at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Luther Burrell is not included having last week been drafted in as cover for Ollie Devoto, who is still unable to return from a bout of concussion. Sale Sharks number eight Josh Beaumont, meanwhile, remains sidelined with a dislocated shoulder.
England's 33-man training squad for Wales match
Forwards: Kieran Brookes, Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Clifford, Dave Ewers, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Paul Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Matt Kvesic, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola.
Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Sam Hill, Jonathan Joseph, Jack Nowell, Semesa Rokoduguni, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.