Eddie Jones urges England caution over Manu Tuilagi during phased return to international rugby

Eddie Jones urges England caution over Manu Tuilagi during phased return to international rugby

Eddie Jones today insisted starting four Tests in a row would be detrimental to Manu Tuilagi’s phased return to the international arena.

Sale wrecking-ball centre Tuilagi will drop to the bench for Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series Test clash with Japan at Twickenham, with Leicester’s Guy Porter starting at 13.

Tuilagi continues to ease past a glut of near career-ending injuries, leaving head coach Jones determined not to take too many risks with the powerhouse centre.

“This is all about workload this weekend with Manu,” said Jones. “With his clear injury record, to play four big games in a row would not be in his best interests at the moment.

Manu Tuilagi will come off the bench against Japan as England manage his workload carefully (Action Images via Reuters)
Manu Tuilagi will come off the bench against Japan as England manage his workload carefully (Action Images via Reuters)

“Guy Porter was instrumental in our Australia tour and it’s great to have him back. You can’t go into a textbook for difficult players to manage, turn to chapter one and work out what to do with Manu.

“There’s no textbook for it, so it’s about experimentation to find out what works best in terms of rehabilitation and things like that, and cohesion in working with Sale.

“I think that’s been done really well and we’ve got him in a good position now. And we’ll see him go well off the bench at the weekend.”