Tuilagi hoping to return for Leicester at Christmas

Manu Tuilagi is hoping to return for Leicester at Christmas

England and Leicester Tigers centre has revealed that he is hoping to return to playing rugby in time to face Newcastle Falcons on Boxing Day in the Aviva Premiership.

Tuilagi is close to returning to the field following a long-term groin injury which has kept him out of the Rugby World Cup and all rugby for the last 13 months.

Despite Tuilagi’s injury the 24-year-old has had no shortage of interest from rival Premiership clubs and looks set to become the highest paid player in the league.

“He is starting to get back to full training,” Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill told 5 live.

“We hope to see him on the field soon. It will be around Christmas time, early New Year.”

Samoan born Tuilagi has won 25 England caps and played for England at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2013 he went on tour with the British and Irish Lions to Australia.

Tuilagi comes off contract with Leicester at the end of this season but he has yet to confirm where he will be playing.

Should Tuilagi return in time for Christmas he would come back into the reckoning for a place in the England Six Nations squad.

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