Sale Sharks' Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson says he would take Manu Tuilagi on the British and Irish Lions tour despite the fact that the centre has not played since September because of an Achilles injury.
Sanderson says he would select the centre for the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa with the England centre set to make a return for Sale Sharks this month.
"Yeah I would (take him) if I was picking it," Sanderson said ahead of Friday's Premiership game with Leicester and the British and Irish Lions announcement on Thursday.
"Manu (Tuilagi) understands more than most how to come back from an injury because he has had more than most.
"I think he wants to come back and be brilliant again, I do and if I could back anyone to come back and be at their best, I'd back him."
Sanderson is cautious about putting the former Leicester Tigers player back into the mix too early,
"It is our job to get him up to game fitness before he plays, that's why I am very tentative to say when he is coming back and him hitting his marks because I don't want to throw him in there at 80 per cent, he will re-injure," Sanderson said.
"I have no doubt he will get back to playing his best rugby. He is very happy here, very motivated and a very good player. You get those three things together and you end up finding form.
"I think he will find form, whether or not Warren wants to take Manu Tuilagi with the Lions, that is his choice."