Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Manu Tuilagi is England's key asset for Japan World Cup, says Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson believes Manu Tuilagi will channel years of injury frustration to become England’s game-changing star during the World Cup.

Tuilagi scored twice in the 35-3 win over Tonga, making 93m for England in 11 ball carries.

Robinson, who scored England’s try in their victory over Australia in the 2003 final, worked with the England squad before they flew out to Japan and says Tuilagi was the stand-out performer.

“I’m so excited about Manu,” says Robinson, who is now an ambassador for Rugby World Cup sponsor Mastercard. “He’s had his injuries, he’s been off for a long, long time, but having watched him in training, he’s just so strong."

Leicester centre Tuilagi has had a string of lower-body injury issues stretching back to 2014, A groin problem sidelined him in 2017, and it wasn't until February that he made his first England start since 2014.

Following Sunday’s four-try win over Tonga, England head coach Eddie Jones declared that Tuilagi was “increasingly getting close to his best”, and Robinson believes the 28-year-old is using the misery of years of on-off injury as a source of motivation.

“Physically, pound for pound, Manu’s one of the strongest out there at the World Cup. And he’s got a spring in his step.”

BOOK LAUNCH: 'Sports Journalism: The State of Play'

My latest book, Sports Journalism: The State of Play, has just been published by Routledge, with a positive reaction from the industry.

The book contains insights and predictions into the changing world of sports journalism, and is aimed at both practising sports journalists, aspiring sports journalists, and sports media academics.

Interviewees include a range of leading sports journalists, including Anna Kessel, Stuart James, Sam Peters, Steve Marshall, David Emery and James Pearce.

The Sports Journalists' Association have done a piece on the book with my co-author Daragh Minogue.

Paddy Barclay, former chairman of the SJA, says: "What this book doesn’t tell you about sports journalism in the digital age isn’t worth knowing. Tom Bradshaw and Daragh Minogue provide a comprehensive guide to the media, tracing the history of an era of often startling change and pointing to the future in a way that will educate and entertain both current and aspiring journalists. It is the most readable work - students and historians alike will enjoy learning from it, as I certainly did."

Will Cope, Sports Journalism course leader at Southampton Solent University, has also given the book his seal of approval: "Tom Bradshaw and Daragh Minogue have crafted a brilliantly well-researched, uber-contemporary, rip-roaring read that is crammed full of excellent case studies and thought-provoking content."