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'He has been called in': Sale confirm Tuilagi recalled by England

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Sale boss Alex Sanderson has confirmed on Tuesday that Manu Tuilagi has been recalled to the England squad for the fallow week training camp in London ahead of the February 27 Guinness Six Nations game at home to Wales. The 30-year-old put his hand up for a Test recall last Saturday when he impressed with 50 minutes as a midfield starter for Sale six days after his initial 30-minute comeback off the bench following an eleven-week lay-off.

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Tuilagi had damaged a hamstring when diving to score in the November win over the Springboks and England reacted by moving Henry Slade in from outside centre to fill the No12 jersey versus Scotland and Italy with Elliot Daly and Joe Marchant respectively stationed outside the Exeter player in the No13 channel.

However, with Sale boss Sanderson stating last Saturday that ‘Manu was outstanding again’ when assessing his player’s first club start of 2022, the inevitable restoration of Tuilagi to the England squad was confirmed by the Sharks coach on Tuesday ahead of the official RFU national team announcement which was due later in the day.  

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It means that Tuilagi is now spending five training with England and won’t be available for Sale when they visit Northampton this weekend in the Premiership.

He has been called into the England squad. Great news for him,” confirmed Sanderson at his weekly Sale media briefing. “He’s ready to go. The game that he played in Quins, which was his first game back, he came off the bench and looked as powerful and destructive as he has ever looked defensively speaking. 

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“His first involvement in five seconds was to and through (Andre) Esterhuizen and then last week he got a lot more ball in hand in the first half and not a lot of defence. He struggled not to break the line every time he carried. He was brilliant in attack and ended up scoring the simplest of tries two metres out. Those two games showed me how sharp he is on both sides of the ball. He doesn’t need any more pitch time, game time unfortunately for Sale but fortunately for England. 

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“What he needs is a week with increased loading so when he goes into full training next week and preps for Wales he doesn’t break down and when he plays against Wales he is used to that intensity. It is the best thing for him I believe this week for him to be in England camp to increase his loading.”

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