Tuilagi raring to go again

Manu Tuilagi intends to hold nothing back as he aims to make up for lost time on his first British & Irish Lions tour with his first appearance in 17 days in Melbourne on Tuesday night. [more]

Tuilagi raring to go again

Manu Tuilagi intends to hold nothing back as he aims to make up for lost time on his first British & Irish Lions tour with his first appearance in 17 days in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

The powerful England centre has been restricted to a mere 100 minutes in two appearances in the seven games to date on the 125th anniversary tour and has spent most of the past fortnight fighting an early return home.

Having successfully combined with Brian O’Driscoll on his debut against Western Force in Perth, Tuilagi was immediately given another chance to shine against Queensland Reds in Brisbane. After 20 minutes he had to leave the field with his tour in tatters.

A stinger injury to his shoulder and neck meant he could barely move his arm and it was touch and go whether he would stay on tour. But he worked through the pain barrier with the physios and gets another chance in Melbourne.

“After the Reds game I couldn’t really move my arm, but all thanks to the physios and doctors who have been doing a lot of rehab and getting me fit. So for me I’m really excited to be back playing and to get out tomorrow,” said Tuilagi.

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“It has been really frustrating having to watch the boys play. It will be really good to get back out there and play again.”

“It’s the opportunity for me and obviously for all the other lads who didn’t play last Saturday to show we’re all trying to get into that Test team.”

Having been given time to prove he can return as fit and powerful as he was before his injury the medical team gave Tuilagi extra time to recover and he believes he is back to the peak of his powers again.

“I’ve been doing a lot of tests lately with the physios and the doctors, trying to get it back to full strength. We tested it yesterday and it’s ready to go – I’m just very excited really.”

With Jamie Roberts still trying to return to full fitness after straining his hamstring at the end of the big win over the Waratahs, Tuilagi has a chance to put pressure on O’Driscoll and Jonathan Davies for a place in the Test team over the next two weekends with a good performance at AAMI Park.
 

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