Manu Tuilagi: England recall would be 'massive ask' says Leicester Tigers coach

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi last played for England against Wales at Twickenham in March 2016

Recalling Manu Tuilagi for the last two rounds of the Six Nations would be a "massive ask" for him, according to Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor.

Tuilagi produced a fine performance as Leicester beat Saracens on Sunday, but O'Connor warned against rushing the 26-year-old back into international rugby.

He has not played for England since March 2016 after a series of injuries.

"He'd be the first to say he's still building back into his game," O'Connor told BBC Radio Leicester.

"He needs to build into that continuity week on week and get his confidence, but his try will be important for him."

Tuilagi, who has 26 England caps, scored the first of Leicester's tries and created his side's bonus-point score for Jonah Holmes as Leicester won at Allianz Park for the first time in the Premiership.

But it was his work off the ball that most impressed O'Connor.

"He led things defensively for us and he adjusted to the conditions," the Australian said, while remaining cool on any prospect of Tuilagi being recalled by England for the final two fixtures against France and Ireland.

"It would be a massive ask for Manu and Eddie Jones to throw him in. It isn't what you want to be doing and it doesn't send the right messages, and I think Eddie will back the guys he's got to deliver in the next two games."

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