Ben Youngs: Leicester scrum-half set to return to face Northampton Saints

Manu Tuilagi's most appearances in a single season for Leicester was 12 in 2015-16
Manu Tuilagi's most appearances in a single Leicester season was 12 in 2015-16

England duo Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi are nearing full fitness and ready to feature in Leicester Tigers' quest for a Premiership play-off place.

Scrum-half Youngs, 28, is available to face local rivals Northampton on Saturday after a knee injury.

Centre Tuilagi, 26, injured his chest against Wasps on 25 March and could return against Newcastle on 27 April.

"We are starting to get numbers back," head coach Matt O'Connor told BBC Radio Leicester.

"We are starting to get a really good vibe around the numbers in training and that augurs well."

Tigers have moved up to third in the Premiership table with three games of the regular season remaining, having won five consecutive matches.

Youngs was injured while playing for England against Italy in the Six-Nations in February.

Forwards Mike Williams and Brendan O'Connor, and winger Jonah Holmes have also returned to training and, along with Youngs, "are available for selection" against Saints at Welford Road on Saturday.

"It's a final this weekend against Saints," O Connor added. "You don't get second chances and you can't afford to slip up.

"Guys don't have time to build into some form we have to so all the work off the field that when you are involved they do the shirt justice. The stakes are high."

O'Connor said Tuilagi was back in training but being carefully managed and would "probably not play against Saints".

"We have a good training week next week and then a two-week prep into Newcastle," O'Connor said.

"He can run around fine and do all his skill work. He is just being a little bit cautious around contact and not getting in uncontrollable positions.

"All the indicators are that he will be available against Newcastle and that will be a huge boost."

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