Six Nations 2015: Manu Tuilagi to miss start of England campaign

Leicester Tigers centre struggling to overcome a groin injury which has sidelined him since October

Manu Tuilagi will miss the start of England’s Six Nations campaign as he struggles to overcome a groin injury.

The powerful Leicester Tigers centre missed the QBE Internationals in November, but was expected to return before Christmas.

No one’s really sure how long it’s going to take. When it first happened even the doctor said it would be six to eight weeks.

Manu Tuilagi

Stuart Lancaster will name his England squad for the Six Nations on Wednesday with Tuilagi set to be omitted to continue his recovery, which could keep him out of the whole tournament.

And the 23-year-old admitted their were complications during his rehabilitation, so has not put a date on his comeback.

“It’s slow but it’s getting there,” Tuilagi said.

“No one’s really sure how long it’s going to take. When it first happened even the doctor said it would be six to eight weeks.”

The Samoa-born centre, who is seen as essential to England’s chances of winning the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup, has received several prolotherapy injections to his groin, but has ruled surgery as an option.

It’s not like a sprained ankle where you can strap up and get on with it. I have to make sure that, if I need to take another week or two, I’ll take it.

Manu Tuilagi

Tuilagi’s absence in November saw Saracens centre Brad Barritt return to the 13 jersery with Lancaster experimenting with Kyle Eastmond, Owen Farrell and Billy Tewlvetrees inside him across the four matches against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

Leicester had targeted a January comeback for Tuilagi, but the England star does not wish to rush his return ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September and is looking to get back playing for his club rather than getting ahead of himself.

“With this you have to just take it day by day and make sure it’s better before you try to come back,” he added.

“There are good days and bad days.

“Some days it feels brilliant and you wake up the next day and it doesn’t feel so good.

“I have to get this right. It’s not like a sprained ankle where you can strap up and get on with it.

“I have to make sure that, if I need to take another week or two, I’ll take it.

“The World Cup is in the back of your mind. I’m not worried about anything else but trying to get fit and then playing for Leicester and hopefully for England.”

Tuilagi’s ongoing injury issue is a further blow to Lancaster, who must also do without the services of Joe Launchbury after the Wasps lock was ruled out of the tournament on with following neck surgery, while Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes has been ruled out of at least the opening two matches after an ankle operation.

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