Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby of the reigning Aviva Premiership champions the Leicester Tigers believes his star man Manu Tuilagi should be the first name on the team sheet for the England Rugby Team, adding that his star man has an X-factor about his game which will be a key asset to the plans for the future, irrespective of the emergence of Luther Burrell.
The British and Irish Lions centre missed all of the autumn internationals for the country after suffering a pectoral muscle injury last year and only returned to match fitness before the Six Nations Championships kicked off.
Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees took full advantage of the absence of the powerful Leicester man to form an effective partnership for the England Rugby Team at the centre but Cockerill believes his star player will reclaim his first team place.
He mentioned that Tuilagi is a key player for the Tigers but if one goes through the recent reports in the press, it would seem he is surplus to requirements for Stuart Lancaster and the England team. Only time will tell about the future but there is a lot of rugby to be played. He added that everyone has seen him play over the last couple of seasons and have seen what he is capable of which was particularly evident in the game against All Blacks when the England Rugby Team beat them.
Cockerill went on to mention that the other players have played brilliantly to cover for his absence but when Manu Tuilagi comes into the England team, it has a menacing look about it and if Lancaster wanted to build a team for the next decade, the Tuilagi should be at the centre of all his plans because he has that X-factor in his game that no one has.