Farrell and Tuilagi doubts for England

Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi

Owen Farrell (left) and Manu Tuilagi were both forced off during Saturday’s Premiership semi-final

Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi could be doubts for England’s tour of Australia after both suffered injuries during Saturday’s Premiership semi-final between Saracens and Leicester Tigers.

Both players came off as Saracens beat Tigers to reach the final on 28 May.

Leicester centre Tuilagi, 25, went off with a leg injury, while Sarries fly-half Farrell, 24, had a rib problem.

“Manu has pulled his hamstring. I don’t know how bad it is but it’s not great,” said Leicester boss Richard Cockerill.

“We don’t know if he’s out of the tour, we’ll see how he gets on in the next 48 hours before assessing how bad it is.

“It happens. He’s a powerful athlete and he’s tweaked his hamstring. That’s life, he’ll get over it.”

On Farrell’s injury, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “I don’t how serious it is. He’s got a bang on the rib and you know ribs can go one way or another – hopefully it goes the right way.”

A pitch problem?


Allianz Park is one of two Premiership grounds to have an artificial surface in 2015-16

Saracens became the first professional rugby club to switch to an entirely artificial turf when they moved to Allianz Park in 2013.

Newcastle are the other Premiership side with an artificial surface, while Worcester are also switching from grass next season – but there have been concerns raised in different sports over their possible implications for injuries.

“I’m not a fan of the artificial pitches at all,” added Cockerill. “For me, artificial pitches are not for rugby union, there should be minimum standards of grass pitches across the Premiership – rugby should be played on grass.

“My own opinion is that artificial pitches are not great for the body, but I’m sure you could find an argument either way.”

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