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Sale issue update on Tuilagi who hurt himself scoring for England

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

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Manu Tuilagi will be sidelined until the new year after Sale boss Alex Sanderson confirmed the disappointing outcome of the scan that was done on the England midfielder’s hamstring in the aftermath of last Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series victory over the Springboks. Having started the previous November matches versus Tonga and Australia, Tuilagi lasted just seven minutes of the game last weekend at Twickenham. 


Taking a pass from Henry Slade, Tuilagi raced towards the corner and dived in to score for England but the powerful way he finished off the try resulted in him suffering a grade three hamstring tear and he was unable to take any further part in the match.

As it stands, Sale are hopeful Tuilagi, who signed a contract extension last April, will be able to rehab the injury without the need for an operation. However, that prognosis could change as the centre will visit a specialist in the coming days.

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An operation would result in a lengthier lay-off and potentially leave Tuilagi a doubt to be ready in time for England’s Six Nations campaign, which kicks off with an away game in Scotland in early February.  

Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s Sale trip to Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership, Sharks boss Sanderson said: “I’m really gutted. I’m gutted for him and gutted because we were managing him well and then something like that happens.”

Sanderson had spoken in early October about the delicate approach that Sale were taking with Tuilagi in order to ensure there were plenty of seasons left in his injury-hit career. “It’s part of his long-term development,” said Sanderson about not picking Tuilagi for every Sale game he was fit for. “Let’s just talk about his history. For seven or eight years, he has only ever played twelve games in a season. He knows that if he gets another serious injury, that might be it. That might be his career. 


“If you fail to learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. Even though he is really fresh now and good to go, I don’t want to be another coach in a long line of coaches who pushes him too hard so he gets re-injured at some point in the season. You have got to look at his past history and when he wants those games to occur, not just to keep playing him because he feels fresh. That is what has broken him every other time.”


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