England star Manu Tuilagi offers injury advice to World Cup-bound Ruaridh McConnochie after debut delays

Simon Collings
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

Manu Tuilagi has revealed how he is giving advice to England rookie Ruaridh McConnochie about dealing with injuries.

Bath wing McConnochie is the shock inclusion in Eddie JonesWorld Cup squad, which was named earlier this month on August 12.

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However since then the uncapped 27-year-old has still not made his England debut after twice being forced to pull out of the team due to injury.

Jones will today name his team to face Ireland on Saturday for the third of England’s four World Cup warm-up matches and McConnochie is not expected to be selected due to a hamstring issue.

It is naturally a frustrating time for the wing but Tuilagi, who has had his own injury problems in the past, has been trying to help him through.

“The main thing is that I know how he’s feeling,” said Tuilagi.

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“I said: ‘Keep your head, keep going and think positive’. At that moment there’s nothing anyone can say to make you feel better, but it could always be worse.

“He’ll be back in a short period of time, but I guess the most frustrating thing is that he’s missed his debut two weeks in a row.”

Given the hunger to make his debut, McConnochie could have chosen to play down his injuries to the medical staff so he could feature.

Manu Tuilagi has been no stranger to injury over recent years (Getty Images)
Manu Tuilagi has been no stranger to injury over recent years (Getty Images)

However, the 27-year-old flagged his issues and Tuilagi has applauded him for it as that is not what the latter did five years ago when his own injury problems flared up.

The centre was out for 15 months from October 2014 to January 2016 due to a groin issue and he has now revealed how he exacerbated the problem by hiding it from physios.

“I played five games with it being really painful. It was stupid,” Tuilagi said.

“I did it on the Thursday, played on the Saturday and strapped it up. At one stage I started strapping my pubis. The physio was like: ‘What are you doing?’ I said: ‘Er, nothing’.

“In the fifth game I got the ball in the first 20 minutes, went to accelerate and bang, there was a pop, a loud pop and I just couldn’t walk. I had pretty much dislocated my pubic bone.”

Thankfully for England and Tuilagi, the 28-year-old’s injury problems now appear to be behind him.

The centre has played in all of England’s Tests this year and, after his injury hell, he is greatly appreciating being back in the fold under Jones.

“I love being here. Especially with this group of players. It’s something special that is happening here and for me, just being part of that is unbelievable,” said Tuilagi.

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“With injuries you have to be honest. That is the best, because if you’re not honest with the physio they don’t know how to treat you.

“You just think: ‘I am never going to get injured’. Even if it hurts you think: ‘I will be alright’. That is a lesson.”

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