Centre Manu Tuilagi is set to add to England head coach Eddie Jones’s mounting injury woes after Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill confirmed the Samoa-born powerhouse is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
Tuilagi has not played since the opening day of the season after injuring his groin and despite initial hopes he would be fit for England’s autumn internationals, which start on 12 November, Cockerill has suggested otherwise.
“Within six to eight weeks he’ll be back on the field,” said Cockerill of Tuilagi, who only returned to action in January after 15 months out with a groin issue.
“We are going to sort out the player. We want him fit. His groin is not right. At the moment, we are hoping six to eight weeks, but if we get there, it might be another three weeks. We’ll wait and see.”
Jones is already without flanker James Haskell for the autumn programme, while Owen Farrell and George Kruis are yet to play this season, Dylan Hartley is sidelined with a back problem and Danny Care and Joe Marler both picked up injuries at the weekend.
Tuilagi’s absence failed to have a detrimental effect on Leicester, however, as the Tigers ran out 34-14 winners over Bath – inflicting their rivals’ first defeat of the season.