FORMER British Lion Ugo Monye insists Leicester wrecking ball Manu Tuilagi must turn his attentions to the wing for England or risk missing out on a starting spot at next summer’s World Cup.
Tuilagi has suffered an injury-plagued campaign for Leicester since returning from last summer’s Lions tour to Australia, missing England’s autumn internationals and the first four games of this year’s Six Nations.
During his international absence, Northampton’s Luther Burrell and Gloucester’s Billy Twelvetrees have formed a formidable centre pairing – and Harlequin Monye believes Tuilagi is now No.3 in England boss Stuart Lancaster’s pecking order.
“If I were Stuart Lancaster, I would have Manu on the wing now,” said Monye.
“Just give him a roaming role and I think he could be exceptional on the wing. He is a dangerous player who attracts so much attention in defence.
“Billy and Luther seem so settled [in the centre], so I think it would be a tough call to drop one of those guys for Manu.
“But he is too big a character and too big a player not to have in your team. You have to factor in getting all the best players on the pitch but also all in the right position.
“When I look at the England back line I think the wing is the one position where Stuart is not 100 per cent sure of his combination.
“A tour to New Zealand would be a great opportunity for Manu to make his mark.”
Ugo Monye was speaking at the launch of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Policy. Sign up for exclusive access to interviews and competitions at premiershiprugby.com/avivarugbypolicy