England’s Manu Tuilagi returns to action while pair Jack Nowell and George Kruis are both injured
Manu Tuilagi played his first game since suffering a severe groin injury in October 2014
Exeter wing Nowell twisted his knee against Gloucester
Saracens lock Kruis was concussed against Harlequins and taken off on a stretcher
England and Leicester Tigers received a major boost as Manu Tuilagi, who did not play a single game for club and country in 2015, made his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday.
The centre had not appeared in a competitive match since October 2014, and with England’s 2016 RBS 6
Nations opener against Scotland just four weeks away, Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has played down talk of an imminent international return.
“At this point I am not sure that Manu is ready to play Test rugby,” said Cockerill. “I will speak to Eddie in the next few days and the start of the RBS 6 Nations is unrealistic for Manu because we need to make sure he is 100 per cent right.”
England’s Six Nations campaign begins against Scotland on 6 February and Jones is due to reveal his first England elite squad since taking over from Stuart Lancaster on Wednesday.
He is likely to be without stars George Kruis and Jack Nowell, who suffered injuries for their respective clubs on Saturday.
Kruis was struck by the swinging arm of James Horwill just 90 seconds into the 29-23 defeat by Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop and was tended to by medics for eight minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.
Exeter backs coach Ali Hepher said Nowell had picked up a “twisted knee” and would be “assessed in the week”, but added: “Sometimes the least painful ones can be the longest out.”
These injuries add to Jones current injury problems, which leaves him without centre Henry Slade, back row Dave Ewers, lock Ed Slater, prop Kieran Brookes and first choice winger Jonny May, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Saints hooker and potential England Captain Dylan Hartley also sat out this week due to a “bang to the ribs”.