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Manu Tuilagi must wait and see if he will be fit to take part in the opening stages of the Six Nations

Manu Tuilagi anxiously awaits to find out if he will be fit to compete in the opening stages of the Six Nations After Sale, pushing his return from injury back to the tournament’s opening weekend

  • Sale is hopeful that Manu Tuilagi will return from his hamstring injury on February 6.
  • That timescale would rule him out of England’s Six Nations opener a day early
  • Rugby director Alex Sanderson says Tuilagi could play for England a week later
  • Scotland, who face England first, hopes their stars won’t get injured



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Manu Tuilagi’s chances of playing for England in the first two rounds of the Six Nations were hit on Friday after his return in the Sale was pushed back to the tournament’s first weekend.

The center has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in England’s 27-26 win over South Africa on 20 November.

Sale had hoped the 30-year-old would be able to meet Leicester on Sunday, but he is now scheduled to meet Harlequins on February 6. England will start their Six Nations campaign against Scotland a day early.

Sale hopes Manu Tuilagi will return to action at the club a day after the Six Nations action starts

Sale hopes Manu Tuilagi will return to action at the club a day after the Six Nations action starts

World Cup star Tuilagi has been sidelined with a hamstring problem but is close to returning

World Cup star Tuilagi has been sidelined with a hamstring problem but is close to returning

World Cup star Tuilagi has been sidelined with a hamstring problem but is close to returning

Rugby sales director Alex Sanderson has suggested Tuilagi could qualify for the England trip to Italy on February 13 if he makes it through the Quins match. But England head coach Eddie Jones is unlikely to bet on Tuilagi, given his long history of muscle injuries.

Sanderson said of Tuilagi: “It’s too much of a risk to push him this weekend. “Harlequins is the expected return and then we’ll see how he feels about the Six Nations. England have full autonomy over when to play and not to play.’

Tuilagi’s injury means Exeter’s Henry Slade will likely fill in the inside center for England’s Calcutta Cup game against Scotland.

England’s first Six Nations opponents are set to have a nervous weekend, with Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland and Chris Harris all involved in domestic action.

Sales rugby boss Alex Sanderson has said England have full autonomy over Tuilagi .'s comeback

Sales rugby boss Alex Sanderson has said England have full autonomy over Tuilagi .'s comeback

Sales rugby boss Alex Sanderson has said England have full autonomy over Tuilagi .’s comeback

The five are definitely starters against England, so Scottish head coach Gregor Townsend will pray they don’t have any fitness issues.

While the stars of England have their feet up, Russell will start in the Top 14 for Racing 92 against European champions Toulouse.

Meanwhile, Hogg (Exeter), Van der Merwe and Sutherland (both Worcester) and Harris (Gloucester) are all in action in the Premiership.

Wales also have their captain Dan Biggar, plus Louis Rees-Zammit and Nick Tompkins, serving as prime minister.

Mark McCall will be taking a short break from his role as Saracen rugby director for medical reasons.

McCall took charge of the club in 2009 and has since won five Premiership titles and three Champions Cups.

Saracen assistants Joe Shaw, Adam Powell, Dan Vickers, Kevin Sorrell and Kelly Brown will jointly lead the team from Wasps tomorrow.

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