Manu Tuilagi’s return from achilles injury delayed AGAIN because of Covid self-isolation… after England centre was identified as a close contact of a coach who tested positive, forcing him to miss Sale’s clash 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 England centre was due to start for Sale against Harlequins on Friday
- Tuilagi has not played since September when he picked up an achilles injury
Manu Tuilagi’s horrendous bad luck continued he was forced out of Sale’s match against Harlequins on Friday night having come into contact with a coach who tested positive for Covid.
The England centre, 30, was set to make his first start since September having recovered from yet another injury, this time to his achilles.
But now he is self-isolating after it was discovered he was a close contact of a staff member at Sale who has caught the virus.
Manu Tuilagi’s return from injury has been delayed because of Covid-19 self-isolation protocol
The England centre was identified as a close contact of a coach who tested positive for Covid
A routine round of lateral flow tests at Sale conducted as part of regular Premiership checks produced one positive.
The infected staff member was once again positive after a subsequent PCR test – and on investigation it was found that Tuilagi had been in close contact with them.
Although Tuilagi has not tested positive himself the Sharks therefore replaced him for last night’s home game with South African Rob du Preez.
It was another bitter blow for the powerful midfielder, who played 33 minutes as a substitute in the 22-12 win against Bristol last Friday – his first match in eight months.
Tuilagi (right) has not played any rugby since picking up an achilles injury last September
Tuilagi was hoping to prove his worth not just for an England recall for summer Tests against USA and Canada, but in case the Lions need back-ups on their tour of South Africa in case of injuries.
He was the only player to be knocked out of the match by this sole positive test, with all results among the players coming back negative.
Sale will now arrange more tests over the weekend, hoping that their star centre can feature in the final game of the season away to Exeter next Saturday and then in the playoff semi final.
The Sharks have booked their place in the last four for the first time since 2006 this campaign so will be desperate to have Tuilagi back for their title push.
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