Jones eyes Tuilagi return against Wales


Eddie Jones is hopeful that Manu Tuilagi will be available to make his long-awaited England return against Wales in the Six Nations next month.

The Leicester Tigers centre has not featured at international level since 2014 after being plagued by groin and hamstring injuries.

Tuilagi is set to play in the Tigers' Premiership encounter with Harlequins on Friday, but will not be in contention for England's clash with Ireland eight days later.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill stated that Tuilagi had "not played enough rugby at club level, never mind Test level", but added that if Jones opts to pick him "then so be it".

England head coach Jones has earmarked Wales' trip to Twickenham on March 12 as a potential international comeback for the Samoa-born powerhouse.

"We'd like to think that," Jones said. "But I've seen the comments by Richard Cockerill so I'll have to get on that Leicester hotline."

Jones also warned Danny Cipriani that he has plenty to prove in order to force his way back into the squad in a week which saw the fly-half seal a return to Wasps from Sale Sharks.

"Danny needs to play well." Jones said. "There's no use talking to the press about it. You've got to dominate club rugby and show all the skills of a Test player.

"He's not good enough to be in the squad at the moment. We have two outstanding 10s in Owen Farrell and George Ford.

"To beat those two, Danny has a long way to go, but he's a capable player. It's a matter of how hard he wants to work at his game."