Home team Away Team

Newcastle

  • Lawson, Cato,
    Penalty goals: Godman, Smith,
    Conversions: Godman,
18 - 41

Leicester

  • Waldrom, Goneva (2), Matera,
    Penalty goals: Williams (5),
    Conversions: Flood, Williams (2),

Manu Tuilagi returns as Leicester Tigers beat Newcastle Falcons

Last updated: 3rd March 2014  

Newcastle v Leicester Niki Goneva

Niki Goneva scored two tries for Leicester

 Manu Tuilagi Leicester Tigers

Manu Tuilagi in action against Newcastle

If Stuart (Lancaster) asks me if I'm ready to play I'll say 'absolutely'. Of course, I would be nervous but I always like to be nervous before a game, it keeps me on my toes. I feel I've knocked the rust off my game today. I would have liked to play the whole game and felt I could have.

Manu Tuilagi
Quotes of the week

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

England centre Manu Tuilagi was delighted to return to action after a five-month absence in Leicester's 41-18 win at Newcastle.

Tuilagi will link up with Stuart Lancaster's squad on Monday and there was enough in his performance - despite a late sin-binning for a deliberate knock-on - to suggest he could return to the England line-up against Wales next Sunday.

"I was excited to be back and wanted to play the whole 80 minutes," said Tuilagi. "I felt pretty good out there after all the training I have been doing and I've worked hard to get myself back to this point.

"I was pretty nervous and excited at the same time - just to get out there and get the feel of the rugby ball in my hands and to play again. It took a while for me to get the ball but I was straight back into it as far as defence was concerned.

"I'll be going down to training with the England boys tomorrow and we'll take it from there. The boys are doing really well and it'll be really good for me to just go down there and get settled back in there and take things from there.

"I spoke to Stuart last weekend and he said to come down after the game and train and we'll see how it goes. I knew that in the first game back I was bound to be nervous, but I just wanted that ball and I was happy with the first tackle and impact.

"If Stuart asks me if I'm ready to play I'll say 'absolutely'. Of course, I would be nervous but I always like to be nervous before a game, it keeps me on my toes. I feel I've knocked the rust off my game today. I would have liked to play the whole game and felt I could have."

Tuilagi may not have set the game alight but neither did he look like a player who has been out for so long, following a shoulder operation.

Long road

"It's been a long road back," he said. "It was a setback when they said it was really off the bone and needed an operation. They had to pull it back up and bolt it back and it took a while to heal.

"The five months have been really tough. I knew the injury was bad because I heard a little crack when it happened and I was really gutted, but that's rugby, you get injured and try to focus on the positives."

Tuilagi was joined in being shown the yellow card by Ben Youngs and Toby Flood.

"I'll have to have a look at those yellow cards," said Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill. "He was quick to get his cards out, but I'm happy with the result and happy to be where we are in a season where we have played rubbish to be honest."

Falcons boss Dean Richards was not enamoured with referee Greg Garner.

"We said at half-time we were getting absolutely nothing from the referee," Richards said.

"He was very inconsistent in his decision-making so we had to be squeaky clean and we gave away two silly penalties away which they kicked and that just made it a little more difficult for us.

"We did play some good stuff in the first half and in the right areas of the field and we didn't do that in the second half.

"You only have to look at the quality of the side we were playing today. They have so many players to call on including those on bench and I thought the boys fronted up today and I thought we played pretty well, it's a just a shame we let it slip in the second half."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 26th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com