Tuilagi is ‘first name on England teamsheet’

British & Irish Lion Manu Tuilagi is good enough to play for any side in the world according to former England centre Dan Hipkiss. [more]

Tuilagi is ‘first name on England teamsheet’

British & Irish Lion Manu Tuilagi is good enough to play for any side in the world according to former England centre Dan Hipkiss.

Tuilagi came off the bench in the third and final Test against Australia in June 2013, the 41-16 victory sealing an historic Series win for the Lions.

The rampaging centre also starred for England in their December 2012 win over New Zealand.

And with the Lions’ set to tour New Zealand in 2017, Hipkiss recalls the Red Rose’s 38-21 Twickenham triumph over the All Blacks as cause for optimism.

And he backed Tuilagi to help England and the Lions going forward.

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“Is there a single team in the world that Manu would not get into at outside centre? I don’t think there is,” Hipkiss told The Rugby Paper.

“I remember watching Manu as a 100kg 15-year-old, practically killing other lads on the wing but he’s been at centre for so long now.

“You only have to look at what Manu did to the All Blacks at Twickenham in 2012. He’ll be the first name on the team sheet that all opponents look for and New Zealand will be no different.

“When they were here last autumn, they had genuine competition for every position. That’s what England will want and I don’t see how you can leave Manu out.”

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