England's Tuilagi ruled out of SA clash with groin strain

The 27-year-old Leicester centre picked up the injury in training and will be replaced by Sale wing Chris Ashton on the bench for the opening November test at Twickenham.

In this file photo taken on 16 March 2013, England's centre Manu Tuilagi (R) tries to hand-off a tackled during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Wales and England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, South Wales. Picture: AFP

BENGALURU - Centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of England’s squad for Saturday’s test against South Africa with a minor groin strain, the Rugby Football Union said on Friday.

The 27-year-old Leicester centre picked up the injury in training and will be replaced by Sale wing Chris Ashton on the bench for the opening November test at Twickenham.

Tuilagi, who last played for England in 2016, has endured a wretched four-year run of injuries.

“Manu’s disappointed. He desperately wanted to play for England again,” scrum coach Neal Hatley said.