England’s Eddie Jones discovers risks of lauding ‘laidback boy’ Manu Tuilagi | Gerard Meagher

Injury-plagued centre’s fresh scrape will reveal how much effort national coach is prepared to take with only player he believes can ‘rip apart’ All Blacks

At the end of a mediocre autumn Test series that caused no little concern considering it came less than a year before the 2015 World Cup, Stuart Lancaster was asked what could improve his England side. His answer, as so often the case with Lancaster, was to the point: “Manu”.

Last week Eddie Jones was more effusive with his praise for the only England player capable of “ripping New Zealand apart” – a pointed remark considering the British & Irish Lions’ second Test victory against the All Blacks on 1 July. Jones described Manu Tuilagi as “worth time, worth effort and worth a lot of care” but 72 hours later the Leicester centre, along with Denny Solomona, was leaving England’s pre-season training camp in disgrace. We will soon find out just how much time, effort and care Jones deems the 26-year-old injury-plagued centre to be worth.

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