2013 British & Irish Lions
Manu 'dreaming' of Lions call-up
October 15, 2012
Manu Tuilagi is in the mix to play for the Lions next summer © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi admits it would be a "dream" to play for the British & Irish Lions next summer but is trying to "focus on the now" with securing a place in the England side one of his immediate priorities.
Tuilagi is one of England's best shouts for a spot on the plane to Australia next summer with the centre excelling on both the domestic and international scene. He played in all three Tests for England on their summer tour of South Africa and has five tries to his name for the international side.
With the likes of Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts mentioned as likely contenders for the Lions centre berths, Tuilagi also has a shout of making a dent in Australia in eight months time.
Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has already earmarked Tuilagi as someone with the potential who could be one of the world's leading centres in years to come and despite the hype surrounding the 21-year-old back, Tuilagi is keen on remaining focused and securing his spot in the England team for the November Tests with Saracens' Brad Barritt and London Irish's Jonathan Joseph also in the mix.
"For me, as usual, I take it game by game, I focus on the now," Tuilagi told ESPN. "You're only as good as your last game and for me I try and focus on that. I focus on playing for Leicester and come the internationals, hopefully I'll be fit and available for selection for England.
"It's a massive year looking ahead to the Lions tour and for me it's my dream. It's a dream for every rugby player in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland to play for that incredible side. It's probably the highest level that you can play.
"But there are a lot of things that have happened over the last year - I've had some injuries. And yeah, it's hard sometimes with the expectation; you have to be good all the time. You can't have one bad game or two so I'll just focus on the next match."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.