Barritt: England are still a threat
Brad Barritt insists England can still be an attacking threat without Manu Tuilagi.
Tuilagi is sidelined for Saturday's Calcutta Cup match against Scotland, with Billy Twelvetrees poised to make his England debut alongside Barritt in a reshuffled midfield. England are a substantially more dangerous side with Tuilagi in midfield, averaging nearly twice as many points scored when the destructive Leicester midfielder plays.
In England's record triumph over New Zealand, Tuilagi scored one try and played a key role in those scored by Barritt and Chris Ashton as Stuart Lancaster's men romped to a 38-21 triumph. "Manu is a fantastic player and he is an asset to any team - but no team is reliant on one person," Barritt said.
Twelvetrees is a different animal. He is a powerful defender but more of a ball-player than a bludgeon and Barritt is confident they can strike up an immediate rapport.
He added: "We have known for a couple of weeks he wouldn't be involved. That has allowed us to build the partnerships and I think people will be straight up to the mark straight away."
If Twelvetrees is confirmed in England's starting line-up on Thursday, it is likely to be at inside centre with Barritt shifting into the 13 jersey.
Barritt began his England career at outside centre last year but being one position further out will ask different questions of his role as the team's defensive leader.
It may well be that Barritt defends at inside centre while Twelvetrees fills the role in attack, where he offers both a kicking game and the handling skills of a fly-half.
"Wherever the team needs me I am happy to fill that role, whether it is 12 or 13," Barritt said.
"There are slightly different variations to how the game can be played. You are probably not making as many tackles per game at 13. There is more organisation to be done but fewer tackles to be made."