Manu Tuilagi is all set to make his return for Leicester on Friday in what is turning into a 2-match warm-up before reenforcing England’s crusade for the Six Nations tournamenttitle.
Tuilagi has recovered from the hamstring tendon strain which forced him to drop Leicester’s past three matches and starts the Premiership game at the Harlequins knowing Eddie Jones will be watching.
The England coach is expecting to involve him in the match against Wales on 12th March, with LiveRugbyTickets speculating that he has a 75% chance of playing in front of a sell-out crowd, even though Richard Cockerill, the Leicester director of rugby, has expressed distrusts over such a rapid return to international rugby.
Having only just recovered from a groin injury which sidelined him for fifteen months, Manu then somehow dislocated his hamstring 3 games into his return previous month, which cast serious doubt on his involvment in the Six Nations. Cockerill stated that Manu has not played enough rugby at club level, never mind Test level. If Eddie decides to selects him because he is playing well enough then so be it.
If Tuilagi, who begins at inside-centre, comes via unharmed against Harlequins and then London Irish after 9 days, he is likely to be called into England’s training squad to get set for the visit of Wales to Twickenham.
Also, coming back to Leicester are flanker Brendon O’Connor and Ed Slater on Friday. O’Connor also recovered from several knee and hamstring wounds. Jean de Villiers is all set to make his debut for Leicester the bench after finally defeating a broke jaw as well as calf problem.