Aviva Premiership
Manu Tuilagi dodges surgery
ESPN Staff
September 26, 2013
Manu Tuilagi will sit out the November Tests © Getty Images

England's centre options

  • Kyle Eastmond - Currently injured but shone for England on their tour of Argentina. Livewire centre who can unpick the most brutal of defences.
  • Anthony Allen - Criminally overlooked by England in the past and is equally adept at No.12 and 13.
  • Luther Burrell - Offers the same physicality as Tuilagi and Barritt and has been one of the form players in the Premiership this season.
  • Billy Twelvetrees - Could act as a second playmaker. Incredibly talented but may not offer the same bulk favoured by England in the past.
  • Jonathan Joseph - Yet to find his feet for Bath but did well on the summer tour of Argentina. Has a real chance of being picked at No.13 for England.
  • Henry Trinder - Gloucester's best player this season, Trinder is making all the right noises about an England call-up for outside centre.
  • Elliot Daly - Incredibly talented and cuts neat lines with ease but currently injured and set for October return.
  • Joel Tomkins - Saracens centre cruelly missed out on summer tour due to injury. One of the better crosscode moves and is certain to win England caps at some juncture.
  • George Lowe - Harlequins centre has been a mainstay in their centres but is probably fairly low down the pecking order

Leicester Tigers have confirmed Manu Tuilagi will miss the autumn internationals but the prognosis regarding his injury is better than first feared.

Tuilagi tore a muscle in his chest in the closing stages of Leicester's 31-6 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday. It was Tuilagi's first match back for his club side after he was sidelined for the first two games of the 2013-14 season due to a shoulder injury he sustained while on British & Irish Lions duty.

Despite putting in a strong performance for the Tigers, the Leicester faithful will have to wait a while to see the England centre back in action. Reports on Tuesday suggested Tuilagi could be forced to undergo surgery to correct the injury.

But the Leicester Mercury has confirmed Tuilagi suffered a muscle tear but he has avoided surgery. He will now undergo "non-intrusive rehab at his club", according to the newspaper.

Rather than returning to the field in the New Year, Tuilagi could be fit in time for Leicester's back-to-back December games against Montpellier in the Heineken Cup.

However, that timeframe means Tuilagi will be forced to sit out England's three-Test November series which sees Stuart Lancaster's men take on Australia, Argentina and New Zealand on consecutive weekends.

The news means Lancaster is now without two of his premier centres with Brad Barritt also sidelined for the November Tests. That leaves Lancaster with just two fit centres in his senior EPS - Bath's Kyle Eastmond and Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees. Saracens' Owen Farrell could slot in to the centres and Leicester's Toby Flood has also run out there but they are likely to vie for the fly-half spot.

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