Six Nations 2014: Manu Tuilagi excited by England return
Six Nations 2014: England centre Manu Tuilagi is excited to make his return from injury after being named in 23-man squad
Manu Tuilagi is excited about his England return in against Italy on the final day of the Six Nations championship.
The Leicester Tigers centre has finally recovered from a pectoral injury to be named on the bench for the clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
I’m really excited to be back with the England boys and pulling on the shirt again. It’s been great in training
It is likely to be his first England appearance since last year’s 30-3 finale defeat by Wales in Cardiff.
After coming through 70 minutes for his Premiership side against Newcastle Falcons two weeks ago, Tuilagi’s performances in training have convinced England head coach Stuart Lancaster that he is ready to return and he replaces Alex Goode.
“It’s been a tough time and I’ve certainly missed the game,” Tuilagi said. “You just want to be out there, especially with the way the boys are playing. You want to be part of the team, so getting back in is great.
“You can have pent up energy when you’re out of the game for a while. When some players come back in after being injured they get a bit too excited and you think, ‘What are you doing?’
“But then it happens to you, and you do the same. It’s a natural thing to get excited when you haven’t played for a while.”
While Tuilagi, who has scored 10 tries in 21 internationals, missed England’s autumn internationals and the first four matches of the Six Nations, Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees have formed a solid partnership in the midfield.
Northampton Saints centre Burrell has scored three tries in the championship since making his debut against France six weeks ago.
Tuilagi is well aware he may have to wait a while longer to slot back in at centre and reclaim his 13 jersey, but he would be just as happy wearing 23 and appearing on the wing if called upon.
“I’m really excited to be back with the England boys and pulling on the shirt again. It’s been great in training,” he added.
“It’s tough to be out and watching your team-mates, but that’s part of the game so you have to get on with it. If I get the opportunity to come off the bench, I’ll hopefully bring my normal game.
“Obviously I want to be part of the team, but you’ve got to support the boys. It’s going to take a lot of work for me to get back in, but hopefully I can keep doing what I do and I can be there.”