England's Riki Flutey wary of Jamie Roberts' threat

Manu Tuilagi
Tuilagi faces a tough test against Wales centre Jamie Roberts on Saturday at Twickenham.

Riki Flutey has warned England new-boy Manu Tuilagi he faces a "massive challenge" confronting Wales' Jamie Roberts on his Test debut.

Flutey is back in the side for the first time in 17 months and will play alongside the Leicester man at centre.

The duo will go head-to-head with Jonathan Davies and Roberts, the latter a Lions team-mate of Flutey in 2009.

"While we have got threats like Manu, we will have the threat of Jamie Roberts," Flutey told BBC Sport.

"I went to South Africa with him with the Lions and over the last two years or so he has been on fire. For myself and Manu it is going to be a massive challenge."

Flutey, like the rest of the England squad, has nevertheless been impressed by what Tuilagi could bring to the red rose midfield at Twickenham.

"He is a fantastic player as we have seen over the last year. He has shown his quality, he has a powerful game with amazing skills and mentally he is tough as well," said the Wasps centre.

"I am really looking forward to the chance of playing with him and hopefully creating some opportunities for him."

New Zealand-born Flutey's own Test career has stalled since a superb 2009 Six Nations campaign won him Lions selection and he replaced the injured Roberts for the final Test in Johannesburg, playing a key role in a stunning 28-9 victory over the Springboks.

The 31-year-old was unable to recapture that form in the 2010 Six Nations and an untimely series of shoulder and calf injuries since have prevented him adding to his 13 caps until now.

"I have always been very positive," Flutey added. "I knew once I got myself back to 100%, I would be back to my best. I am hopeful of being able to put that out on the field now, and do as much as I can to get on that plane down to New Zealand."