Tuilagi happy to play anywhere for England
April 3, 2014
Manu Tuilagi made a try-scoring return for England © Getty Images
Manu Tuilagi has said he is happy to play anywhere for England as long as he is in the team.
Tuilagi has missed much of the season with a pectoral injury but he did return in time to play some part in the 2014 Six Nations when he came off the bench for Luther Burrell in their final game against Italy. Despite his try-scoring return, Tuilagi will have his work cut out if he is to try and force his way into the England centres reckoning.
Stuart Lancaster favours having two playmakers in the side - a role Billy Twelvetrees fulfils - and he started Twelvetrees alongside Burrell in each of England's five Six Nations games. But ahead of the end-of-season tour to New Zealand, Tuilagi has been mentioned as a possible option on the wing and he is open to the idea of swapping the outside centre berth for a spot on the flank.
"As long as I'm in the team I don't mind where I play," Tuilagi told the Guardian. "I played pretty much all my career on the wing before I got into the first team at Leicester. I'm just excited about England and the way we're playing. The boys were gutted after the Italy game that France couldn't stop Ireland. But you can't rely on anyone to help you win the championship. Hopefully we'll do it next year."
Before Tuilagi's attention shifts to thoughts of England, he will be part of a Leicester team hoping to end Clermont's incredible 74-match unbeaten run at home when they travel to France for the Heineken Cup quarter-final on Saturday.
"We played Clermont two years ago," Tuilagi said. "We lost away and won at home. It's a tough place because you don't win  games in a row for nothing. But the boys know that. We've just got to focus on ourselves even if it's a very impressive stadium, and very loud. When the French are on top you can hear it all right. But we'll try to get a good start and keep them quiet."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September