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).
Tour de France 2015: Five riders abandon race after huge crash on Stage 3
World's highest paid athletes: Floyd Mayweather way ahead as three Brits make top 20
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
Nick Kyrgios supporters who smeared Vegemite on their face questioned by Serena Williams
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Isis flag: What do the words mean and what are its origins?
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts