Hold Manu back un­til 2018 says top Tiger

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - ■ By NEALE HAR­VEY

ENG­LAND supremo Ed­die Jones should re­sist se­lect­ing Manu Tuilagi un­til the 2018 Six Na­tions and al­low the trou­bled cen­tre to re­cap­ture his best form for Le­ices­ter, ac­cord­ing to Tigers team­mate Telusa Veainu.

In­jury-hit Tuilagi was sum­moned for the re­cent Red Rose train­ing camp de­spite not hav­ing played since Jan­uary, but was ejected in dis­grace af­ter break­ing the team’s code of con­duct fol­low­ing a latenight drink­ing ses­sion with Denny Solomona.

Veainu claims frus­tra­tion was at the root of Tuilagi’s in­dis­cre­tion and in­sists his back­line col­league must now be left to con­cen­trate on Le­ices­ter.

“We’ve wel­comed Manu back and he just needs to get along do­ing his job now,” Veainu told The

Rugby Pa­per. “I’ve had a

good chat with Manu about re­al­is­ing where he is and all the lit­tle things he’s been hav­ing to work on since he’s been in­jured.

“The guy’s been in­jured for so long and when you do the same thing of re­hab­bing and be­ing around the camp with­out ac­tu­ally par­tic­i­pat­ing, it’s pretty tough.

Ton­gan Test star Veainu, the former High­landers, Cru­saders and Rebels wing, added: “What hap­pened with Eng­land was borne out of frus­tra­tion but he wants to just play well for Le­ices­ter now. He wants to get one game un­der his belt, then two and it’s the lit­tle things he’s been miss­ing like team runs and get­ting out there.

“What hap­pened with Eng­land, for me, was a mi­nor in­ci­dent, but he’s in a good head space now and is re­ally look­ing for­ward to play­ing for Le­ices­ter.”

Jones will host an­other Eng­land train­ing camp in Ox­ford on 24-26 Septem­ber and has out­lined Tuilagi’s im­por­tance to their World Cup hopes.

Veainu added: “You have to re­alise where the player is and what he’s been through.

“To be out of the game for that long and ev­ery­body is con­stantly ask­ing you about when you’re com­ing back to play, it’s just a tick­ing time­bomb re­ally.

“He’s got the world on his shoul­ders, so the best thing is to leave him alone and let him do his thing; leave him at Le­ices­ter, let him play for us for four or five months solid and build his con­fi­dence.

“For­get about Eng­land, just let him get some good min­utes un­der his belt and find the en­joy­ment and mo­ti­va­tion for what got him suc­cess in the first place.

“Eng­land should leave Manu where he is and, if he’s play­ing well, maybe think about him again in Jan­uary.”

Plea: Telusa Veainu

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