Brian O’Driscoll Makes Eddie Jones Plea
Brian O’Driscoll has urged Eddie Jones to not give up on Manu Tuilagi just yet.
The troubled centre was sent home from England camp last week along with teammate Denny Solomona after disrupting ‘team culture.’ It’s believed the two players stayed out until the early hours drinking, giving Jones no choice but to relieve them from camp.
Speaking to The Rugby Paper, former Ireland centre O’Driscoll toured with Tuilagi on the 2013 Lions tour and is a big fan of him both as a person and a player.
“I’m a big fan of Manu as a person and a player.” O’Driscoll said.
“I spent a lot of time with him in 2013 and he’s a real talent. I don’t have any bad words to say about him”
“He’s just been unlucky with injuries and silly decisions and what he did last weekend was very stupid just after getting him back in the England set up. He shot himself in the foot.”
“He needs to earn the respect and the right to play for England again and unfortunately for him that road just got a little bit longer.”
O’Driscoll reckons Tuilagi should start at 12 for England, with Elliot Daly at 13 and Owen Farrell at 10.
“I’d have him at 12 and a partnership Elliot Daly outside him in the England midfield and Owen Farrell at flyhalf could be special for England moving forward.”
“If he’s fit and playing well I think Manu can be a world-beater so don’t get rid of him for something that was really foolish. He only had a few drinks he didn’t kill anyone.
“That said he’s had too many second chances. He’s still young but needs to get on with it now.”