Tuilagi’s only previous Test appearance in the position came on tour against New Zealand in 2014 and the experiment was immediately abandoned by Eddie Jones’ predecessor as head coach, Stuart Lancaster.
The decision is shaped by Jones’ desire to field Smith at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre in a dual playmaker partnership for the Autumn Nations showdown at Twickenham.
Jones said: “We know this will be a tough test for us, we’re playing against a team who have been together a while and who have beat the world champions twice. As an Australian I know how much this game means.
“We’ve had a really good week of preparation, we’re looking to improve our performance this week and I think this side is building well.”
ENGLAND XV15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)14. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 44 caps)13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 41 caps)12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 93 caps)11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 67 caps)10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 3 caps)9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 110 caps)1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps)2. Jamie George (Saracens, 60 caps)3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 45 caps)4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 49 caps)5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 88 caps)7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 25 caps)8. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 34 caps) FINISHERS16. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 3 caps)17. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, uncapped)18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 13 caps)19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)20. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 2 caps)21. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)22. Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, uncapped)23. Max Malins (Saracens, 8 caps)