Newcastle 18 Leicester 41 match report: ‘Excited’ Manu Tuilagi determined to test fitness against Wales
Sunday 02 March 2014
England centre Manu Tuilagi will link up with Stuart Lancaster’s squad today fresh from making a successful return to Leicester duty after five months out of action.
Tuilagi had a quiet day in the Tigers’ demolition of Premiership strugglers Newcastle and was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on in the 70th minute. However, there was enough in his performance to suggest he could return to the England line-up against Wales on Sunday.
“I was excited to be back and wanted to play the whole 80 minutes,” said Tuilagi. “I felt pretty good out there after all the training I’ve been doing and I’ve worked hard to get myself back to this point. I was pretty nervous and excited at the same time just to get out there again. It took a while for me to get the ball but I was straight back into it as far as defence was concerned.
“I’ll be going down to training with the England boys tomorrow. The boys are doing really well and it’ll be really good for me to just get settled back in there.
“If Stuart asks me if I’m ready to play I’ll say ‘absolutely’. Of course, I would be nervous but I always like to be nervous before a game, it keeps me on my toes. I feel I’ve knocked the rust off my game today. I felt I could have played the whole game.”
Tuilagi may not have set the game alight but neither did he look like a player who has been out for so long, following a shoulder operation.
“It’s been a long road back,” he said. “It was a setback when they said it was really off the bone and needed an operation. They had to pull it back up and bolt it back and it took a while to heal. The five months have been really tough. I knew the injury was bad because I heard a little crack when it happened .”
Tuilagi was joined in being shown the yellow card by Ben Youngs and Toby Flood. “I’ll have to have a look at those yellow cards,” said Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill. “He was quick to get his cards out, but I’m happy with the result and happy to be where we are in a season where we have played rubbish, to be honest.”
Falcons’ Dean Richards was not enamoured with match official Greg Garner either. “We said at half-time we were getting absolutely nothing from the referee,” he said.
Newcastle: A Tait; Cato, Tiesi, Powell (Barnes, 41), Smith; Godman (J. Hodgson, 68), Blair (Fury, 65); Vickers (Strain, 51), Lawson (McGuigan, 63), Brookes (Tomaszczyk, 63), MacLeod, Mckenzie (Tomes, 73), Welch (York, 70), Saull, M Wilson. Leicester: Tait (Thompstone, 57); Scully, Tuilagi, Bowden, Goneva; O Williams, B Youngs (Mele, 65); Ayerza (Stankovic, 75), T Youngs, Mulipola (Balmain, 70), Deacon, Slater, Gibson (Waldrom, 55), Matera, Crane.
Referee: G Garner (RFU).
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian
Luke Campbell vs Tommy Coyle: Danny Garcia vs Paul Malignaggi and Ricky Burns vs Prince Ofotsu - Boxing on TV this weekend
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Norwich City mocked after revealing terrible new third kit - which is also yellow and green
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Community Shield 2015: Mesut Ozil can prove his greatness at last, says Arsene Wenger
- 1 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 2 It won’t work, Jeremy: The Health Secretary has lost the confidence of the medical profession in his attempt to reform the NHS
- 3 Kim Jong-un awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality