Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



Adam Hastings: 'When you're injured, you question a lot of things'

Adam Hastings has recovered from two spectacularly ill-timed injuries to target a place in Scotland's Rugby World Cup squad

RugbyPass+ Home

The 'pretty rare flesh wound' that Manu Tuilagi is dealing with

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Alex Sanderson has insisted that Manu Tuilagi will be fit and available for selection for this Sunday’s Gallager Premiership semi-final versus Leicester despite playing just 17 minutes of last weekend’s Sale win over Newcastle. That final regular season fixture was deadlocked at 7-all when the England midfielder was whipped off by the Sharks management.


Tuilagi was replaced by the two-try Sam James in a match that Sale went on to win comfortably by 54-12 and any lingering doubts over the fitness of the freshly contract-extended centre to face his old club Leicester in this coming weekend’s semi-final have been dismissed by Sanderson.

“He split the webbing in his finger,” explained the Sharks director of rugby about what is said to be a common enough cricket injury that most often happens during fielding but is rare in rugby. “It’s a pretty rare flesh wound but he is good to train, he will be up for selection.”

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Tuilagi going off so early wasn’t the only sudden rejig that Sale had to cope with last weekend as Dan du Preez was a late cry-off from their bench, his place going to Alex Groves. The Springboks No8, who was last capped in August 2021, hasn’t played since the early March loss at London Irish.

Rather than go for season-ending surgery to remedy loose shoulder ligaments, the back-rower opted to delay the procedure until the off-season in the hope of playing a part in Sale’s title push. He managed to earn bench selection versus Newcastle but ultimately became unavailable.

“Dan didn’t run for three weeks whilst we were stabilised his shoulder and we tried to put two weeks of loading into 10 days just to understand how fit he was,” explained Sanderson. “He just pulled up a little bit tight from what he did last week so rather than risk potential injury and him then not being available for selection, I’m happy to say now he is available for selection but it’s a difficult call as he hasn’t played and Sam Dugdale has been going really well for us.”

Sale head into the semi-final with high hopes that George Ford, the starting No10 in last year’s Premiership final win by Leicester, and Tuilagi will lead the way in helping the Sharks to reach what would be only their second-ever final and their first since winning the title in 2006.


“It’s crucial because these are leaders who come to the fore at this stage of the season,” continued Sanderson. “These are guys who have to step up on the field and are able to keep their heads and respond and find ways when the plan doesn’t work, which invariably doesn’t against the better teams. Find ways of navigating to good outcomes, to better outcomes.

“Being able to draw on their experience is crucial, as it will be as we go through the week. I will continue to lean on them. Not that it’s a chore for them, they want to.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ Akker van der Merwe: 'Yes, I stutter, but it’s not who I am. It doesn’t define me. It doesn’t own me.' Akker van der Merwe: 'Yes, I stutter, but it’s not who I am. It doesn’t define me. It doesn’t own me.'