Tuilagi ready for big campaign - Cockerill

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Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has backed Manu Tuilagi to come out firing next season after recovering from his injury woes.

After missing 18 months with a groin injury, Tuilagi picked up a hamstring problem in Leicester's Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens, one of his first games back.

He subsequently missed England's historic tour to Australia but, after spending the off-season recovering, the centre is now raring to go.

Cockerill has been impressed with the early signs and is predicting a "big season" for the 25-year-old.

"Manu is back to where he was and we are all looking for a big year from him for club as well as country, with the carrot of the Lions also to come," he is quoted as telling The Telegraph.

"Psychologically, Manu is in a good place. He has come back to us looking leaner and sharper. The injury pressure has been taken off him and he can just get stuck into training.

"We took all the right precautions with him and I don't believe we rushed him back last season.

"But when you run into blokes with the velocity that Manu does, then it puts a strain on the body.

"When players have had a lengthy spell out injured, you often find that something else tends to happen.

"So he missed Australia but that has meant that he has had a clear summer and is good to go."