Manu Tuilagi’s return from Achilles tendon injury delayed AGAIN due to Covid self-isolation… after England center was identified as close contact of a coach who tested positive, forcing him to miss Sale’s showdown against Harlequins
- Manu Tuilagi’s return from injury has been delayed due to Covid self-isolation
- Tuilagi, 30, was identified as a close contact of a coach who tested positive
- The center of England would start the sale against Harlequins on Friday vrijdag
- Tuilagi hasn’t played since September, when he suffered an Achilles tendon injury
Manu Tuilagi’s horrendous bad luck continued as he was forced out of Friday night’s 45-12 win over Harlequins at AJ Bell Stadium after coming into contact with a coach who tested positive for Covid-19.
The England centre, 30, would make his first start since September after recovering from yet another injury, this time to his Achilles tendon.
But now he is self-isolating after it was discovered he was in close contact with a Sale employee who contracted the virus.
Manu Tuilagi’s return from injury has been delayed due to Covid-19 self-isolation protocol
England center was identified as close contact of a coach who tested positive for Covid
Despite his absence, the Sharks were relentless and raced to a ninth straight win. They dominated physically and took numerous punishments from the opposition.
The handsome seven-time bonus points win saw them trump Quins to finish second in the Premiership table – with their second-place hopes still alive ahead of next weekend’s game against Exeter at Sandy Park.
Martin Landajo gave Quins the lead, but Sale hit back through Akker van der Merwe, Marland Yarde, Byron McGuigan and Cameron Neild for a 26-7 lead.
With Faf de Klerk sin-binned, Sale added to their tally by Rohan Janse van Rensburg and then Bevan Rodd. Will Edwards put Quins in double figures and Jean-Luc du Preez rounded out the defeat.
Tuilagi (right) has not played rugby since suffering an Achilles tendon injury last September
As for Tuilagi – who played 33 minutes as a substitute in Friday’s 22-12 win against Bristol – a routine round of lateral flow tests returned one positive.
The infected employee came back positive after a subsequent PCR test, and an examination revealed that Tuilagi had been in close contact with them.
Although Tuilagi himself has not tested positive, the Sharks replaced him for the home game with South African Rob du Preez.
Tuilagi hoped to prove his worth not only for a recall from England for the summer tests against the US and Canada, but in case the Lions need support during their tour of South Africa in the event of injury.
He was the only player to be knocked out of the game by this only positive test, with all results among the players coming back negative.
Sale will now host more tests over the weekend, in the hopes that their star center can compete in the final game of the season next Saturday, away to Exeter and then into the semi-finals of the play-offs.
The Sharks have secured their place in the last four for the first time since 2006 in this campaign, so they will be desperate to have Tuilagi back for their title push.