Manu Tuilagi OUT of England’s summer Australia tour after undergoing knee surgery

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Sidelined: Injury-plagued Sale centre Manu Tuilagi has managed just 46 England caps since his 2011 debut  (Getty Images)
Sidelined: Injury-plagued Sale centre Manu Tuilagi has managed just 46 England caps since his 2011 debut (Getty Images)

England will be without Manu Tuilagi for this summer’s tour of Australia after he underwent a routine procedure on his knee.

The 31-year-old Sale centre has had an operation and it has been decided that a summer off gives him the best chance of making it to the World Cup in France next year.

A club statement read: “Sale Sharks can confirm that Manu Tuilagi has undergone a routine procedure on his knee which will rule the 31-year-old out of this summer’s England tour to Australia.

“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.”

Eddie Jones has had to become used to life without Tuilagi, who has been limited by injury to just 46 England caps since his debut in 2011, despite almost always being first choice.

Tuilagi’s absence presents another opportunity for Joe Marchant, who has been in sparkling form for Harlequins this season and enjoyed an encouraging Six Nations, too.

Owen Farrell, who has not played this season due to injury, is expected to line up at inside centre for England this summer, alongside Marcus Smith.

England are also set to be without another centre, Henry Slade, who revealed on Wednesday evening that he had undergone shoulder surgery.

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