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Tuilagi return won't be rushed; RUGBY UNION.

ENGLAND coach Stuart Lancaster is wary of rushing of Manu Tuilagi's rehabilitation after the Leicester centre was ruled out of Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland.

Tuilagi will miss the clash at Twickenham with the ankle injury that has prevented him from participating in a practice session since his withdrawal from the build up to the Tigers' victory over Toulouse eight days ago.

The explosive 21-year-old is expected to resume full training by the middle of next week and has a chance of returning against Ireland on February 10.

Lancaster, who has already decided who will partner Brad Barritt in the centres for the Calcutta Cup showdown, is refusing to take any shortcuts in the recovery of his most dangerous player.

"Manu has a high ankle sprain which is one of those injuries that can settle quickly, or take longer," he said. "We want to make sure Manu is right and doesn't rush back and break down again. It's taken until now to get him to run in a straight line. One of Manu's strengths is changing direction and we want to make sure he can do that without suffering a recurrence."

Tuilagi (inset, left) was devastating during last autumn's record 38-21 victory over world champions New Zealand, scoring one try and creating two more, and when fit has been an ever-present since making his Test debut in 2011.

Lancaster will announce on Thursday whether the inexperienced Billy Twelvetrees or Jonathan Joseph will partner Barritt with fly-halves Toby Flood or Owen Farrell also possibilities.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 29, 2013
Words:255
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