Great Britain

Manu Tuilagi OUT of England’s Six Nations clash with Scotland with groin injury but set to return for Ireland

MANU TUILAGI is OUT of England's must-win clash in Scotland.

Boss Eddie Jones revealed that his battering-ram centre has suffered a groin strain, but expects him to be back to face Ireland at Twickenham.

Injury-plagued Tuilagi limped off after just 16 minutes of the awful 24-17 defeat to France.

And Jones revealed: “Manu had his MRI scan last night and he has a slight, low-grade adductor strain.

"We're hopeful he'll be fit for Ireland. It's very good news, outstanding news."

Tuilagi's absence robs England of their most powerful player behind the scrum and his exit from the field resulted in a lack of firepower at the Stade de France, with Billy and Mako Vunipola already missing.

Jonathan Joseph came on as his replacement and is competing with Ollie Devoto to deputise at outside centre.

Anthony Watson was a late withdrawal from the team for the championship opener because of a calf issue but he is due to resume full training on Tuesday.

We're hopeful he'll be fit for Ireland. It's very good news, outstanding news."

Eddie Jones

Jones said: "Scotland are a niggly side. Our historical record against Scotland is interesting - over 80 per cent wins in England but only 50 per cent at Murrayfield.

"It's about having good focus, good attention to the moment, good clarity about your game-plan, being well prepared. And we'll start with that today."

Two years ago England were thumped 25-13 at Edinburgh in a defeat that exposed glaring breakdown deficiencies and launched a five-Test losing run that placed Jones' future in doubt.

When the teams walked through tunnel to the changing rooms upon completing their warm-up, a brawl erupted that was provoked by Scotland number eight Ryan Wilson targeting George Ford, prompting Owen Farrell to defend his team-mate.

Asked for an example of "niggly" conduct, Jones replied: "The dressing-room scene two years ago when they tried to goad a couple of our players. And they were successful.

"Historically they've done that through the ages. That's the way they stay in the game and they're good at it.

"The Murrayfield environment helps them but you've got to be good enough to stay focused, be on task, do what you need to do.

"Composure is always important in rugby, but probably more so at Murrayfield."

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