Tuilagi to miss autumn Tests

Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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England centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of next month’s autumn series because of a groin injury, his club Leicester have announced.

Tuilagi limped off after 15 minutes of Saturday’s 25-18 Champions Cup victory over Ulster and will now miss the Tests against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

“I’d be very surprised if Manu plays any part in the autumn. He’ll clearly be missing for a few weeks as a minimum,” Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said.

A time frame for Tuilagi’s return is expected in the coming days with the British and Irish Lion having suffered a different groin injury to the one that sidelined him for three Aviva Premiership games last month.

Cockerill stresses that Tuilagi’s rehabilitation will not be rushed to enable him to make the end of England’s QBE Series, which begins against the All Blacks on November 8.

“Manu’s had scans and we’re still waiting for the exact prognosis. He won’t be fit for the autumn internationals for sure,” Cockerill said.

“You’d imagine it being four weeks plus before he’s back on the field. He’ll struggle to be involved.

“We had the England doctor in and everybody’s aware of the situation. It’s a continual dialogue.

“We know how good Manu is, he doesn’t need to prove himself, he just needs to get himself fit. That’s the key for me. If he’s right and fit then he’s as good as there is.

“It’s not about him playing at the back end of the autumn, it’s about him being fit and making sure he’s 100% so he can come back and do what Manu does.”

Tuilagi first damaged his groin in the 24-20 Premiership victory at Exeter on September 13.

“It’s a slightly different injury. He went to push off and accelerate and he thought he was going to score,” Cockerill said.

“He backed himself, felt his groin go and there was no power. For Manu to come off immediately is unusual – he was in a fair bit of pain.

“At this point we just need to find out exactly what the problem is and find the right treatment.

“Before his groin was very tight so we rested it, rehabilitated it and he was feeling good. He trained properly and there were no issues.

“But clearly there was something there that there shouldn’t have been and he’s done something else now.”

Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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