England and Leicester Tigers back Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of the upcoming Six Nations Championship with a knee injury.
The 25-year-old is set to miss up to nine months after suffering knee ligament damage during last weekend's clash with Saracens.
The injury will see him miss Eddie Jones's side's defence of their Six Nations crown and will almost certainly rule him out of contention for the Lions Tour later this year in New Zealand.
Tuilagi made 26 appearances for England since his debut in 2011 and also featured in the 2013 Lions Tour.
Leicester will also miss one of their key players as they look to get their dismal season back on track. They have suffered poor form in the Champions Cup as well as in the Aviva Premiership.
The team have also recently parted ways with director of rugby Richard Cockerill. They sit fifth in the Premiership, 15 points off table toppers Wasps.
Cockerill has said before his departure that he had hoped the injury was only minor: "It might just be a bang and a bit of swelling, it might be a couple of weeks. I’m just guessing."
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