By Ali Stokes
Manu Tuilagi has been forced to withdraw from England's team to face South Africa this weekend, dashing hopes of a first Test return in two years.
The Leicester Tigers centre reportedly picked up a knock during training ahead of the weekend's game at Twickenham and has been replaced on England's bench by Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton, who will earn his first cap in four years if utilised by head coach Eddie Jones.
Ashton returned to England and contention for the national side after a year with French outfit Toulon, bagging a hat-trick for Sale in his first outing for the Sharks in the Challenge Cup against Connacht.
News of Tuilagi's injury will have an all too familiar, bitter feel for England and Leicester Tigers fans. The 27-year-old, iconic centre is renowned for his ability to terrorise international sides with his powerful ball running.
Over the last five years, the Samoan-born powerhouse has been plagued by injuries, scarcely featuring for both club and country showing obvious signs of a promising international career.
Tuilagi could yet feature for England this November, with Tests against the All Blacks, Japan and Australia yet to come. Neither the nature or severity of Tuilagi's injury has been revealed.