Tuilagi just wants to play

Date published: April 4 2016

Manu Tuilagi was instrumental for Leicester when they snatched a 35-30 victory from Gloucester in the Premiership at Welford Road on Saturday.

The 24-year-old midfielder made his return for Tigers, after being on Six Nations duty for the Grand Slam winning England, as the Midlanders entered the business end of the Premiership and also the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

And he is enjoying being back on the field and also feels privileged to be part of the Welford Road outfit’s training and setup.

“I am doing all right,” Tuilagi told Press Association Sport.

“I am still on the pitch – that is the main thing! I am just enjoying it, I am enjoying every single minute of it.

“I’ve been out of the game, and when you are fit and well, sometimes you take it for granted.”

Tuilagi admits that he still has much to offer the Tigers and will be at his best every time he is handed the chance to represent the side.

“For me, I am enjoying training every day because it is an opportunity to get better,” he added.

“To have the opportunity on the weekend to put it on the playing field is great. I have still got a little bit to go.”

A meeting between Tuilagi and the England and Leicester bosses – Eddie Jones and Richard Cockerill – was held to establish where the powering midfielder can be utilised best.

Jones is preparing for a three-match Test series against Australia in June of this year.

“We had a quick meeting last week, with Eddie saying what he wants from me moving on back with Leicester,” Tuilagi said.

“He just said, train hard, play well and everything will look after itself.”

The British and Irish Lions player has expressed that he prefers playing at outside centre, however he does not mind where he plays, for England or Tigers, as long as he gets game time.

“At the start, I always liked playing 13, and when Eddie wanted me to play 12 I was like ‘aaarrgh’ – but it is just a number,” he said.

“Even at set-pieces you can change around, depending on what move you are playing and who is on the field with you. I am really enjoying it.

“Twelve or thirteen, I am just happy to be on the pitch.”