Manu Tuilagi has taken up salsa dancing to aid his recovery from the achilles injury that is on course to heal in time for the latter stages of Sale’s Gallagher Premiership title push. The England centre is around eight weeks away from a return to action after tearing the ligament against Northampton in late September, ruling him out of the autumn and Six Nations.

ADVERTISEMENT

As part of his rehabilitation, Tuilagi is performing salsa and hiking as he closes in on a comeback in early May that will enable him to make a late pitch for Lions selection against South Africa this summer. Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson said: “Manu is walking and learning salsa, believe it or not. If you are hiking and doing salsa you can’t be far off playing rugby.

“The salsa is for his ankle and a wife of one of the players is taking (coronavirus) tests because she is able to teach him salsa, so he has been learning that. He is going to perform for the boys in around five weeks. I haven’t watched him salsa but he is good with his feet for a big guy.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
The Breakdown looks ahead to Super Rugby round two in New Zealand

“I went for a 7.5km hike with him around Macclesfield Forest last Friday and he was on great form. We went up to the highest point of Macc Forest. He was climbing over boulders and it’s really undulating terrain, that is why we took him. He has got another one this Friday that is 10km.

“It’s about seven to eight weeks for him, maybe. Definitely, he will play again this season. It’s good to see him up and about. He is a good lad so he is adding energy to the place.”

Tuilagi’s ball carrying might has left a void in midfield for Sale and England, but the latest timeframe for his return means he could be involved in the last five rounds of the regular Premiership season plus the playoffs if the Sharks progress.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lions coach Warren Gatland will monitor his progress closely knowing a fit Tuilagi would be the most destructive player at his disposal with no obvious like-for-like replacement across all four nations.

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now