England's Jones confident Tuilagi's latest injury 'just a small setback'

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Injured again - England centre Manu Tuilagi
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England coach Eddie Jones said on Thursday he expects Manu Tuilagi to return in "very good condition" next season despite the centre's latest injury setback.

Tuilagi has played three matches for Sale Sharks since recovering from an Achilles problem sustained in September, only for the 30-year-old to suffer a hamstring injury in an English Premiership semi-final loss to Exeter Chiefs this month.

The midfielder made his Test debut back in 2011 but a tally of 44 caps is a testament to the injuries that have blighted his career.

Concerns over Tuilagi's Achilles injury ruled him out of the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa and the Samoa-born centre will now miss next month's Tests against the United States and Canada.

Tuilagi last played for England in March 2020 but Jones has no qualms about his long-term fitness.

"It's a slight hamstring injury, he'll be out for a couple of weeks so we won't play him this series," said Jones.

"But we've been really pleased with his progress, I think it's been very positive for him to come back from his achilles and play with such vim and vigour.

"He's been outstanding, so it's just a small, little setback.

"And it will allow him to have a really good pre-season and we expect him back next year in very good condition.

"So it's very positive, very positive," added the veteran Australian coach.


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