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Tuesday Jun 22, 2021

Manu Tuilagi injured again, withdraws from England squad

Manu Tuilagi has suffered a fresh injury setback that has forced him to withdraw from England’s training squad for next month’s Tests against the USA and Canada.

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Tuilagi has played three matches for Sale since recovering from an Achilles problem sustained in September only to pick up a minor hamstring strain in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership semi-final defeat by Exeter.

After an assessment by the Sharks, the 30-year-old has been pulled out of Eddie Jones’ 36-strong squad, who are preparing for Sunday’s ‘A’ international against Scotland.

It was decided that given his extensive injury record, it was better to add Tuilagi to the list of senior players stood down for the Tests at Twickenham on July 4 and July 10 rather than risk his fitness.

George Ford, Jonny May, Ben Youngs and Mark Wilson have been given the summer off as Jones looks to uncover the next generation of England player, populating his squad with 22 uncapped personnel.

Also missing are the 12-strong contingent supplied to the British and Irish Lions for their summer tour to South Africa.

Northampton’s Fraser Dingwall has been called up as Tuilagi’s replacement and will be looking to make his mark ahead of Friday’s team announcement for the visit of Scotland ‘A’ to Welford Road.

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Leicester was Tuilagi’s long-term home until he departed for Sale during the first coronavirus lockdown last year, finishing the 2019-20 season at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The powerful centre has been highly influential in some of England’s biggest wins, but his international career has been hampered by a run of serious chest, knee, groin, Achilles and hamstring injuries.

Between 2014 and 2018 he made just one Test appearance against Wales as a replacement and having excelled at the 2019 World Cup, Jones’ goal will be to ensure that his most destructive asset is fit for France 2023.

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