You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tuilagi likely to miss Lions tour of NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017
Manu Tuilagi of Leicester runs with the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester and Leicester Tigers at Kingsholm Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Gloucester, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) © David Rogers/Getty Images Manu Tuilagi of Leicester runs with the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester and Leicester Tigers at Kingsholm Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Blockbusting England centre Manu Tuilagi is likely to miss the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand after suffering a knee injury.

Tuilagi has been ruled out of the Six Nations and the rest of the English Premiership club season after suffering the injury while playing for Leicester on Sunday.

The news of a sixth-month recovery period was announced by interim Leicester coach Aaron Mauger. Former All Black Mauger is in charge at the club following the sacking this week of director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Tuilagi, who had just been recalled by England after persistent groin and hamstring injuries, went off after 10 minutes of the Tigers' 16-12 home loss to Saracens.

"Unfortunately Manu sustained an ACL injury in the game on Sunday that's going to put him out for the rest of the season," Mauger told reporters.

"It's looking like a six-month recovery which is devastating for the bloke, he's worked so hard to get back to where he is."

The 25-year-old Tuilagi, who has 26 caps but only one under England head coach Eddie Jones, had been due to join the England squad for a training camp this week.

Instead, the Samoan-born player faces another lengthy period on the sidelines and is unlikely to be considered for the Lions tour of New Zealand in June and July.

He returned to the squad in March 2016 for the Six Nations, which saw England take a grand slam, after a 15-month layoff due to injury and disciplinary issues but the comeback was short-lived.

Tuilagi, who missed the 2015 World Cup, was forced to withdraw from England's triumphant 2016 tour of Australia due to a hamstring injury and missed the autumn internationals.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon