Tuilagi ruled out of Calcutta Cup clash
Published 28/01/2013 | 13:12
Manu Tuilagi will miss England's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland, coach Stuart Lancaster has announced.
Tuilagi has been ruled out of Saturday's Twickenham encounter with an ankle injury but could return for the second round of the championship against Ireland on Sunday week. Lancaster also confirmed that prop Alex Corbisiero will be sidelined for the entire Six Nations with a knee problem.
"Manu has run out of time for Scotland and we'll make a call on him for Ireland early next week," Lancaster said.
Tuilagi was devastating during last autumn's record 38-21 victory over world champions New Zealand, scoring one try and creating two more. The explosive 21-year-old is England's most dangerous player and, when fit, has been an ever-present in their midfield since making his debut in 2011.
"By the end of the week we expect Manu to be running fully and changing direction," Lancaster said. "The message I'm receiving from the medical team is that he will be training fully by Tuesday or Wednesday next week, but I'll need to make a call earlier in the week.
"He won't be training properly until at least Friday. Manu is a big loss - he was outstanding against New Zealand. But he missed the first two games of last year's Six Nations because of a hamstring and it's an opportunity for someone else.
"It's disappointing for him, but it's not a long-term injury so he'll be back soon."
England must decide whether to draft in Billy Twelvetrees or Jonathan Joseph to partner Brad Barritt, while fly-halves Toby Flood and Owen Farrell are alternatives.
"We have a pretty good idea of how we'll rejig the midfield. We have our thoughts," Lancaster said. "It changes the emphasis a little bit, but it won't fundamentally affect the way we play.
"Brad will be in the equation and we need to make sure we can still break the gainline and have physical defenders. We've got to have the ability to get across the gainline and defend."