England's Tuilagi ruled out for six months with Achilles injury

Rugby Union - Premiership - Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks - Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, Britain - September 29, 2020 Sale Sharks' Manu Tuilagi reacts after sustaining an injury Action Images/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - Injury-plagued England centre Manu Tuilagi will be sidelined for six months with an Achilles tendon injury sustained while playing for Sale Sharks, the Premiership club’s director of rugby said on Thursday.

Tuilagi suffered the injury in Sale’s 34-14 win over Northampton Saints on Tuesday, and will miss England’s postponed Six Nations game against Italy on Oct. 31 as well as their Autumn Nations Cup campaign in November, where they take on Georgia, Ireland and Wales.

“He’s had a scan... surgery next week hopefully. It’s a torn Achilles,” Steve Diamond told a news conference, adding that the 29-year-old would be out for six months.

“It might have been a bit of a jinx with me saying we’ve got nine games out of nine from him... It’ll be a loss to both England and Sale.”

Tuilagi, sacked by Leicester Tigers in July after deciding not to sign a new contract on reduced terms, had joined Sale until the end of next season.

Injuries and international duty had limited Tuilagi to an average of around 11 games per season at Leicester.

Tuilagi’s Sale and England team mate Courtney Lawes also picked up an ankle injury in the same game.

England begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign on Nov. 14 against Georgia at Twickenham Stadium.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru