Manu back and aiming for a big Six Nations
MANU Tuilagi can make up for lost time this Christmas and prove he has lost none of his explosive talent.
Mathew Tait claims his Leicester Tigers team-mate remains “the finest physical specimen” he has seen on a rugby field, and is happy to play alongside him rather than against.
Tait is also adamant that once Tuilagi does start proving to Eddie Jones he can still hammer holes in opposition defences he will wear the white jersey again in the Six Nations.
Tigers boss Matt O’Connor chose against throwing the centre back into the limelight at Wasps yesterday, preferring to give him another week to recover from his serious knee problem.
As a result, Tuilagi, 26, is now likely to make his long-awaited return in next Saturday’s crucial Champions Cup visit to Munster. It is 21 months since the Pacific Island-born star won the last of his 26 caps, and Tait reckons England fans will eventually see the very best of Manu soon.
He insisted: “Manu can now see the end of a very long, difficult road. He is just desperate to play and we’re all desperate to have him back on the pitch with us.
“In my eyes there’s no one in world rugby quite like him. As a physical specimen he’s amazing and
he’s an incredible player when he’s fit and doing his thing. I’ve certainly never played against anyone like him.
“Manu isn’t a person who wants sympathy but having been through it myself it’s a real tough thing. He’s a professional sportsman and also a young man trying to fulfil his potential and be the best he can as a rugby player.
“He has been in good spirits and is a huge part of our group. He’s been making plenty of coffees for the boys so far this season!
“Touch wood, if all goes to plan and he manages to stay fit, get a run of games under his belt and show his best, I’m sure the England door will be open for the Six Nations.
“The team has been outstanding under Eddie Jones and having Manu back pushing for a place would only make things even better and stronger looking ahead and to the next World Cup.”