Fighting A Losing Battle: Manu Tuilagi Set For Another Spell On The Sidelines

Manu Tuilagi’s career path has followed an all too familiar trend: hit form, cause trouble, get injured; repeat.

2017 doesn’t look to be breaking that mould as the Leicester man faces a spell on the sidelines following an injury sustained in the opening defeat to Bath.

The Englishman needs surgery on his meniscus meaning the 26-year-old is set for a 12-week absence from the game. However, the centre’s club coach has stressed it is not the same knee which ruled Tuilagi out for much of last season:

“This is not the knee that Manu injured last season and this is not a major injury in the context of what kept him out for the first half of this year,

“Manu has worked really hard with the medical and conditioning teams to come back from long-term injury and was starting to find his feet again on the pitch, but he’s just been very unlucky with this one.

“It was an innocuous bump, a freak incident in the game. On closer inspection there is some damage to the meniscus which needs to be addressed. We look forward to having him back at the end of his recovery period.”

— Leicester Head Coach, Matt O’Connor

The injury means Manu will miss the autumn internationals, as the centre waves goodbye to another opportunity at impressing Eddie Jones.

Despite Tuilagi’s behaviour on the summer camp with teammate Denny Solomona, Jones reiterated earlier in the week that he would be open to a recall of the Leicester man:

“So we will just assess them over the next period of time and if they’re eligible for selection and if I meet with them and if their attitude is right then we will pick them.”

— Eddie Jones

Tuilagi was on his final warning, but another set on the sidelines will continue to put him down the England pecking order. It could be the final nail in the coffin for the England centre as he’s running out of moments to impress at international level ahead of the 2019 World Cup.