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Tigers and England sweat on Manu Tuilagi fitness update after Leicester exit

Leicester and England will find out on Monday whether Manu Tuilagi will miss another chunk of the season after suffering a knee injury in the 16-12 Aviva Premiership defeat at home to Saracens.

The 25-year-old centre, playing only his sixth game after a long lay-off due to a groin problem, hobbled off just eight minutes into this game - watched by England boss Eddie Jones - after falling awkwardly in a double tackle.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said Tuilagi, who had just been recalled to the England training squad, would be assessed after the injury had settled down.

He said: "He got a bang on the outside of his right knee and we don't know the extent of the injury yet.

"His groin is feeling great so that's one good thing, there's always a positive.

"It's disappointing because he is important to us. Normally it's 24 hours so we will see how it has settled down in the morning to see if there's any swelling.

"It might just be a bang and a bit of swelling, it might be a couple of weeks. I'm just guessing."

Even without Tuilagi, Leicester might have won but for a mistake by England scrum-half Ben Youngs which let Owen Farrell in for the only try of the game in the 55th minute in front of a 25,248 crowd.

The England star, who scored all Saracens' points, kicked the conversion to turn a 9-6 deficit into a 13-9 lead and they held on for a win which cemented second place.

Leicester's second successive defeat leaves them in fifth place, five points adrift of fourth placed Bath.

Cockerill said: "There was one incident in the game where there was a poor pass and a misread in defence and they scored, and that's the difference in the game.

"It was tight, we played very well, they played well. We defended outstandingly well and our set-piece was dominant.

"Saracens' pack don't get dominated very often but we dominated their pack today. Our boys were fantastic.

"There are a lot of positives. I know we are five points from the top four but we were playing the best side in Europe last season.

"If we can play like that away we will win more than we lose and we will keep in the mix."

Saracens' 10th win of the season puts them just one point behind leaders Wasps and keeps them on course to defend their title.

Director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We are chuffed to bits to come here and win where they have not lost this season.

"Not everything in our game was perfect, far from it. But what was tremendous was the fight we had and the effort we showed all the way through the game.

"Our defensive effort was extraordinary. Alex Sanderson has done an unbelievable job post-Paul Gustard - but the players have to do it out there.

"We had to win without a platform because our scrum today was poor. To get a result without a scrum is tough."

McCall praised Farrell, who capitalised on Youngs's error with a lovely dummy to score his try.

He said: "It's funny, people see that as the moment of the game and I understand that. But Owen did so many things which were not eye-catching.

"Some of his kick chase was as good as I have ever seen and his defence was extraordinary. His desire and energy never fades."

McCall said winger Chris Ashton would miss the game against Exeter after suffering concussion in a clash of heads with Tom Brady.

He was also disappointed that full-back Alex Goode had not made the England squad, adding: "Alex was the Premiership player of the season last season, the best full-back in the Premiership.

"It's disappointing for Alex. He seems to be okay but he's disappointed."


From Belfast Telegraph