'I never used to sleep': How Tuilagi got back on track
SPOTLIGHT: England centre Manu Tuilagi says sleeping better after advice from his wife has helped his return to action but is refusing to think about July’s tour to Australia.
Tuilagi, who turns 31 next Wednesday, has been hampered by injuries during his career and pulled out of February’s Six Nations win over Wales with a hamstring issue.
He won the last of his 46 caps against South Africa in November and has played just four games for his club Sale Sharks since.
“I think sleep is a big thing for me. I never used to sleep. I used to sleep really late. For an athlete you need, for me, at least seven hours,” Tuilagi told reporters after Sunday’s European Champions Cup quarterfinal loss at Racing 92.
“That’s what I looked at when the latest hamstring injury happened.
“I had a chat with my wife. I was talking to her, saying to her about how I woke up 20-30 minutes before we had the walk-throughs and then you get into training.
“And my wife is saying, you’re an athlete, you’ve got to sleep,” he added.
Tuilagi and partner Chantelle Garity have two young children together. Garity has taken over the evening duties since the midfielder’s change in routine.
“I have fun with my kids when I get home from training. Get home and there’s no rest,” he added.
Eddie Jones’ side head Down Under later this year for three Tests with the Wallabies starting on July 2 but Tuilagi is refusing to look that far ahead nor to next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“As a person you have to listen to your body but as an athlete sometimes you get too excited and you just want to be out there on the field,” Tuilagi said.
“And you ignore what your body is telling you.
“I just want to keep playing. That’s what I want to do, is play week-in, week-out,” he said.