Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

England debut will be unbelievable, says Manu

Figure image
Manu Tuilagi says it will be "unbelievable" to make his England debut in front of a sold-out Twickenham on Saturday.

Tuilagi will win his first cap as England continue their Rugby World Cup build-up in the first leg of a home and away double header against the Welsh.

“It’s unbelievable,” says the Leicester Tigers Academy graduate. “I can’t explain the feeling you get when you are going to play for England. It’s going to be my first cap and to do it at Twickenham is unreal.

“It is going to be a physical battle the whole game. Wales have some big boys so I am just focussing on the game.”

The 20-year-old starts at outside centre, where he played most of his rugby for Leicester Tigers during his debut season last year, and will form a new centre partnership with London Wasps' Riki Flutey.

“Riki is a quality player,” Tuilagi told Talking Rugby. “He has been high quality with the Lions and England and it will be a pleasure to play outside of him.”

Tuilagi made 26 first-team appearances for Tigers last season, scoring eight tries. He made his England Saxons debut alongside Billy Twelvetrees against Italy A in January and Richard Cockerill, Tuilagi’s director of rugby at Leicester Tigers, says he is ready to play Test rugby.

“The games he started last year, he got in front of Dan Hipkiss and to keep someone like Danny out of the side, who has played in a World Cup final and played in some very big games, proves what a good player he is,” says Cockerill.

“When Manu gets it right, which he does more often than not, he is very effective. Manu will be very good, I have no doubt about that.”