Tuilagi reveals preferred position

Date published: August 31 2014

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Leicester and England back Manu Tuilagi is raring to go ahead of the new season next weekend, after a mixed tour in New Zealand.

Leicester and England back Manu Tuilagi is raring to go ahead of the new season next weekend, after a mixed tour in New Zealand.

Tuilagi was outstanding in the first Test in Auckland when used at outside centre, but was trialled on the wing for the second Test.

Looking back on the experience – Tuilagi was memorably hunted down by Ben Smith when in a full sprint for the line – the 23-year-old was diplomatic.

“I enjoyed it. Stuart [Lancaster, the England head coach] said to me at the start of the week that I might be playing on the wing. He had mentioned it before,” Tuilagi told the Telegraph.

“I was covering wing and centre in the last Six Nations match against Italy. I just think he wanted to try it out.”

When asked if the experiment could be tried out again, Tuilagi admitted that he would prefer to stay in midfield.

“Hopefully not, but anything could happen! I prefer outside centre. You get a lot of space and you get involved a lot more.”

Tuilagi comes back into the new season with Leicester with a burning fire, not dissimilar to the Tigers' new away kit, to make up for missing last season's Premiership Final for the first time since 2004.

Leicester dealt with an extensive list of injuries, enough to derail their early season efforts.

“For us not to make the final… There is a lot of expectation to win something every year. We see that as a challenge. It was just unfortunate last year that we did not make it. It was very frustrating,” added Tuilagi.

“It doesn't really help when you have a lot of injuries. But then again that's not an excuse to lose or not to do very well.

“But you still have to consider the injuries we had. It was tough for everyone at the club, including the coaches and the management, to cope with, having a lot of good players injured. Saying that, credit to the guys who were there and put in the work and got us to the semi-final.”

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