Tuilagi to have surgery on knee injury

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Manu Tuilagi has won 26 caps for England but has played just 17 minutes of Test rugby since 2014

Manu Tuilagi will not play in England’s autumn internationals after he suffered a knee injury in Leicester’s Premiership opener against Bath.

Playing his first competitive game since January after recovering from another knee problem, the centre scored a try in the Tigers’ defeat on Sunday.

But he now needs surgery on his meniscus and faces about 12 weeks out.

The 26-year-old was called into the England camp in August but then sent home for disciplinary reasons.

“This is not the knee that Manu injured last season and this is not a major injury in the context of what kept him out for the first half of this year,” said Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor.

“Manu has worked really hard with the medical and conditioning teams to come back from long-term injury and was starting to find his feet again on the pitch, but he’s just been very unlucky with this one.

“It was an innocuous bump, a freak incident in the game. On closer inspection, there is some damage to the meniscus which needs to be addressed. We look forward to having him back at the end of his recovery period.”

England head coach Eddie Jones had said on Wednesday he was willing to recall Tuilagi and Sale Sharks winger Denny Solomona, who were were punished for “team-culture issues”.

England play Argentina, Australia and Samoa in the autumn internationals series in November.

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