British & Irish Lion Manu Tuilagi could return to international action after a six-month injury lay-off when England face Italy on Saturday.
Tuilagi appeared off the bench in the decisive third Test in Australia as the Lions claimed their first series victory in Australia.
However, the 22-year-old centre has barely played since with a pectoral muscle injury ruling him out of England’s autumn internationals and much of his domestic campaign with Leicester Tigers.
Tuilagi returned for the Tigers in their victory over Newcastle Falcons earlier this month and ahead of the match with Italy on Saturday, England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits the centre is in his thoughts.
“If we were to go down the route of using [Tuilagi] on the bench he'd certainly have a big impact,” said Lancaster.
“We didn't feel that it was right to involve Manu against Wales because of his lack of training time with us. We'd be more comfortable bringing him in for this weekend.
“I haven't spoken to any of the players yet and there's someone who would lose their spot on the bench if that's the route we go down.
“One option is for him to cover wing and we have both Jack Nowell and Jonny May who can cover full-back.”