Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi's chances of making an England comeback has taken a blow as he suffered a minor groin strain.
The 27-year-old, who was named on the bench for the autumn international opener against South Africa this Saturday has now been withdrawn from the matchday squad.
Tuilagi's career has been hampered by series of injuries that has restricted his England appearance to just one in the last four years.
The news on Tuilagi came a day after the 6ft centre admitted that he was unsure about returning to the England set up considering the amount of injury setbacks in the last few years.
England scrum coach Neal Hatley broke the news on Tuilagi.
"Manu's disappointed. He desperately wanted to play for England again," Hatley said.
As a result, Tuilagi's place on the bench is taken by Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton, who last played for the red rose team in 2014.
Ashton recently returned back to the Premiership from Toulon after a terrific Top 14 season last year. He also scored a hat-trick against England when he played for Barbarians earlier this year.
The 31-year-old fullback will look to add to his 39 Test caps from the bench and use the opportunity to impress Eddie Jones with the World Cup around the corner.