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Manu Tuilagi has plate put into hand he broke twice at RWC

By Chris Jones
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 27: Manu Tuilagi of England looks towards the sky as he leaves the field during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Bronze Final match between Argentina and England at Stade de France on October 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Manu Tuilagi has had a plate put into his hand after twice breaking a bone during England’s Rugby World Cup campaign and could be out of the Sale team for up to six weeks.


Alex Sanderson, the Sale director of rugby, revealed that Tuilagi first broke a metacarpal bone in a pool match against Samoa then refractured it in the third place play-off match with Argentina and the centre is not expected to be available until their Heineken Cup campaign, which starts against Stade Francais on December 10.

Tuilagi, whose wife gave birth to a son last Friday, has been bedevilled by injury during his career and this latest blow means he cannot build on the form he showed at the World Cup.

Flanker Tom Curry is also carrying problems from his England duty and will be given more time to get himself mechanically fully fit to return for Sale.

Sanderson, who will have England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and lock Cobus Wiese fit to face Bristol on Saturday, said: “Manu has had a plate put into his hand and he is going to be four to six weeks. Knowing Manu, it will be three to five three to five weeks and so we are looking at Europe before we get him back.

“We will get it scanned again so that the specialist can give the go ahead. He broke it and then broke again and its just collateral damage of playing in the World Cup.

“Of course it is frustrating and if you ask Manu again he would want to play in his last World Cup. His wife gave birth on Friday to another little boy and I asked him about international rugby and he said they would have to put him down because he is loving it. That is where his head is sat.


“Tom has got some issues around his body and the mechanics and he is a finely tuned race car. We are very cautious to make sure he is running well and we don’t over load him.”

Sale were visited today by England coach Steve Borthwick and attack coach Richard Wigglesworth and the return of Cowan-Dickie is good news for the national selectors given the worrying nature of the neck injury that stopped him moving to France.

Sanderson added: “It’s a big one isn’t it, and we will decide about putting him straight in and he has been working realty well with Agustin Creevy. Luke has a lot to live up to because he says he is going to be the difference and be the catalyst. He has been brilliant and very supportive of Gus.

“Luke has had to hit strength markers on his right arm to be within 20 percent of your good side. The specialist has said yes and so he is available for selection.”




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