Saturday 18 November 2017

Tuilagi's Six Nations hopes in balance after centre limps off

Leicester Tigers' Manu Tuilagi won't play again this season
Leicester Tigers' Manu Tuilagi won't play again this season Newsdesk Newsdesk

Manu Tuilagi's hopes of earning an England recall for the Six Nations Championship have suffered a fresh setback after the Leicester centre's injury curse struck again.

Tuilagi was forced out of the action just seven minutes into Leicester's 16-12 defeat by Saracens at Welford Road yesterday with an injury to his right knee following a collision with Scotland wing Sean Maitland.

The 25-year-old had to be helped off the pitch and could be seen wincing, suggesting his latest setback could mean a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

He did not travel to join up with England's two-day training camp in Brighton last night, having earned a recall to the squad for the first time in nine months on Saturday.

Meanwhile, George North (pictured) returned to the Northampton team for the first time since suffering a head injury on December 3, as the Saints beat Gloucester 13-12.

The Wales wing was involved only fleetingly, despite lasting the full 80 minutes, as Northampton needed a penalty try seven minutes from time to edge the win. Gloucester were left to count the cost of David Halaifonua's failed intercept, which the TMO ruled as a deliberate knock-on.

Whether his attempt to catch the ball was genuine or not, there was a Northampton overlap, so for Jim Mallinder, the Saints director of rugby, the decision was straightforward.

"We were going to score that," Mallinder said. "It was a clear overlap so I think it was the only decision that the referee could make."

Irish Independent

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