England's powerhouse centre ruled out of Australia tour
NEWS: Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of England’s tour to Australia after undergoing a knee operation.
Tuilagi’s club Sale described it as “a routine procedure”, but it is another blow for the player during an injury-hit career.
The centre would undoubtedly have been a key part of England head coach Eddie Jones’ plans for three Tests against the Wallabies in July.
“Sale Sharks can confirm that Manu Tuilagi has undergone a routine procedure on his knee which will rule the 31-year-old out of England’s tour to Australia,” Sale said in a statement on Thursday.
“The club, in close consultation with England Rugby, have decided that a summer of rest and a full pre-season is the best course of action to ensure Manu is fit and available for Sale Sharks and England during a crucial year for both club and country.
“Everyone at the club wishes Manu all the best for his recovery and looks forward to seeing him at Carrington for the start of pre-season.”
— Sale Sharks 🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) June 2, 2022
England face Australia in Perth on July 2, then meet them in Brisbane seven days later and Sydney on July 16.
Tuilagi had been due to make a first England appearance since the autumn in February’s Six Nations clash against Wales.
Jones selected him to start the game, but he was withdrawn just hours later because of a hamstring injury.
Tuilagi has won 46 England caps, but he has only played twice for his country since March 2020.
His destructive carrying in midfield has been missed by club and country, with Jones to date unable to find an alternative capable of getting the team on the front foot through force.
Tuilagi becomes the latest high-profile tour absentee after Exeter ruled back-rower Sam Simmonds out of the trip due to a hip injury.