Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade are on course to be fit for England's crunch Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday.

Tuilagi suffered a groin injury early in England's defeat to France on the opening weekend of the tournament, while Slade has been out since sustaining an ankle injury in December.

The centres trained with the Rugby World Cup runners-up on Wednesday and could face joint-leaders Ireland this weekend.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: "Manu trained fully so should be in contention for selection. It's good to have a quality player back.

"Slade also trained so we have just got to monitor his progress. He has a positive chance. He's a quality player. This gives us more options."

One player who will play no part is prop Mako Vunipola, who flew to Tonga and is not available for "family reasons".

Jones says England are well stocked to cover for the absence of the British and Irish Lion, with Joe Marler and Ellis Genge vying for a start.

The Australian said: "Mako's a quality player but we are lucky we are blessed with two outstanding loosehead props in Joe and Ellis, so we can recover the loss of Mako.

"But it's disappointing to lose him."

Genge scored the winning try in a battling 13-6 defeat of Scotland before the rest weekend. 

England are likely to welcome back Manu Tuilagi for the crunch Six Nations clash with Ireland next week, but Anthony Watson remains out of action.

Centre Tuilagi remained with the England squad after suffering a groin injury in the opening defeat in France, although he did not feature as the Rugby World Cup finalists bounced back against Scotland.

The Leicester Tigers star should be able to feature at Twickenham a week on Sunday, though, head coach Eddie Jones revealed.

England face Ireland, who have won two matches from two so far - beating defending Grand Slam champions Wales last week - to join France at the top of the Six Nations table.

Alongside Tuilagi, England could be boosted by a return for Henry Slade, the 26-year-old having been out with an ankle injury since December.

"Manu is looking very good," Jones told Sky Sports News. "Very promising. He should be in full training by the start of next week.

"Henry Slade ran today and we've yet to get a medical report. It's definitely promising but too early to say whether he will be alright for Ireland or not."

However, Watson - another man, like Slade, yet to feature in the campaign - is still struggling with a calf injury picked up on the eve of the competition.

"Anthony Watson is still a couple of weeks away," Jones said.

England centre Henry Slade is expected to miss the start of the Six Nations after fracturing his right ankle.

Slade was forced off in the first half of Exeter Chiefs' victory over Leicester Tigers last weekend and sat out Sunday's 14-7 win against Saracens.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter confirmed the centre is facing up to two months on the sidelines.

"Henry has a small fracture to his ankle around the site of the plate he had put in a couple of seasons ago when he fractured it at Wasps," said Baxter.

"The prognosis of anything like that is six to eight weeks of healing time. There's no information at this stage that says it will be quicker or slower than six to eight weeks.

"It's not for me to say for which game exactly he'll be back [for], because things can shorten up considerably towards the end of rehab time or they can relapse at the end, so it's impossible for me to say."

England begin their Six Nations campaign with a trip to Paris to face France on February 2.

Slade has made 27 Test appearances for England and came on as a replacement in the Rugby World Cup final loss to South Africa in November.

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