Manu Tuilagi was injured during England’s loss to France on 2 February

Centre Manu Tuilagi is available for England’s Six Nations match against Ireland but full-back Anthony Watson will not be fit in time, says head coach Eddie Jones.

Tuilagi has recovered from a groin injury while Watson is “a couple of weeks away” from playing because of a calf problem.

Exeter centre Henry Slade is also back in England camp after fracturing his ankle in December.

England host Ireland on 23 February.

“It’s always good to get good players back,” Jones added.

“We haven’t had Slade the whole Six Nations and obviously had Manu just for the first game and they’re both quality players, so it’s good to have them back.”

Tuilagi, 28, was injured during England’s opening-round loss to France, a game Watson was due to start before being withdrawn the day before the team announcement.

Watson, who has also suffered Achilles and knee injuries in the last two years, last played for Bath on 10 January but could make his England return against Wales on 7 March.

Leicester back Tuilagi missed England’s 13-6 win against Scotland at Murrayfield and had been limited to one match in the six weeks prior to the Six Nations by a separate groin complaint.

Jones said Slade had completed his first running session and that England were awaiting medical reports to assess his progress.

If passed fit for the Ireland match, it will be the 26-year-old’s first game in two months after being injured in Exeter’s win against Leicester on 21 December.

England are currently in camp in central London before the tournament’s first rest weekend.


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?