Extent of England Tuilagi's injury
INJURY UPDATE: England centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out for six months by a torn Achilles.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond has revealed that Tuilagi will undergo surgery next week.
“Manu will be a loss to England and Sale,” Diamond said.
The injury means Tuilagi will miss England’s entire Nations Cup and Six Nations campaigns.
Aside from Tuilagi, Eddie Jones also sit with another injury headache in the form of Courtney Lawes.
The second row Lawes departed in the ninth minute of the 34-14 loss after falling awkwardly when challenging Tom Curry for a high ball, the Saints second row catching his right ankle in the turf as his body twisted on landing.
Soon after, England midfielder Tuilagi followed Lawes off the pitch having taken a bang to what appeared to be his left achilles during a bulldozing carry out of defence when his team Sale were pinned in their own 22.
Both players were in obvious discomfort and had to be helped off before taking their places in the stands with strapping fastened on to the affected areas in alarming scenes at Franklin’s Gardens.
England head coach Eddie Jones is due on Monday to announce a preliminary squad for fixtures against the Barbarians and Italy that take place at the end of next month as the prelude to the Autumn Nations Cup.
Tuilagi and Lawes would have been fully involved throughout the campaign and their absence would be a major setback to Jones as England target the win in Rome on October 31 that might deliver the Six Nations title.
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The early outlook on Lawes was bleak. “Courtney has an ankle injury and it looks pretty ginger. I wouldn’t be overly hopeful of a fast return – he sustained a fairly heavy blow,” said Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd in the immediate aftermath. “He’ll get a scan. It’s unfortunate for Courtney and maybe in the short term unfortunate for England.”
Northampton have now provided an update on their player, stating: “Saints can confirm that Courtney Lawes sustained an ankle injury in last night’s defeat to Sale Sharks which requires further examination by a specialist next week when the timeframe for his recovery will become clearer.”