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Tigers handed Tuilagi fitness lift ahead of Exeter opener

Leicester Tigers have been boosted by centre Manu Tuilagi's claim that he should be fit for the start of the new Premiership season.

The 27-year-old England international, who has not played for the Red Rose since March 2016 having been hampered by problems throughout his career, required surgery on a knee injury.

And, while Tuilagi missed out on a place in England head coach Eddie Jones' 44-man training squad for this weekend's get together, he has provided a positive update on his bid to be ready for the Tigers' opening game of the new season at Exeter on September 1.

He said: "It was a really minor procedure and I am back in training. I'm really excited for new season."

Meanwhile, Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor had previously revealed that they are looking to try and help Tuilagi avoid suffering future injury problems.

He said: "He carries the ball a lot for us. He is a huge focus for the opposition. We have to try to make sure he is that little bit more resilient around playing as many games as possible for us."

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