Friday 28 October 2016

Manu Tuilagi is no stranger to controversy: Here are four of his most infamous moments

Published 15/05/2015 | 20:17

Manu Tuilagi floors Chris Ashton
Manu Tuilagi floors Chris Ashton

England will go into a World Cup campaign on home soil without star centre Manu Tuilagi after he pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a police officer.

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The Leicester player pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating, one count of criminal damage and two counts of assaulting a police officer.

It is not the first time Tuilagi has had a brush with the law or caused controversy and here, we look at his previous misdemeanours.

1) Wins his fight against deportation, June 2010

Tuiliagi was on the verge of being deported and being sent back to his native Samoa in 2010 before the Home Office made a U-turn and allowed him to stay. The then 19-year-old had originally entered the country on a holiday visa six years earlier and had stayed on illegally. At the time, Tuilagi was a rising star in Leicester's academy and was expected to be handed a professional contract. After the successful appeal, he was granted indefinite leave to remain.

2) Banned from Aviva Premiership final, May 2011

Tuilagi was forced to miss the 2011 Premiership final against Saracens after he was given a five-week ban for punching Northampton's Chris Ashton. Tuilagi had originally been banned for 10 weeks but that was reduced in light of a push by Ashton. The suspension meant that the Leicester centre also missed England Saxons' Churchill Cup campaign that summer. Saracens defeated Leicester 22-18 in the final.

3) Detained by New Zealand police after ferry jump, October 2011

England's 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand was a miserable affair which was blighted by off-field controversy, which Tuilagi contributed to. In the aftermath of England's quarter-final defeat against France, Tuilagi was detained by New Zealand police and fined £3,000 by England rugby officials for jumping into Auckland harbour from a ferry.  

4) Bunny ears, September 2013

In September 2013, Tuilagi issued an apology to Prime Minister David Cameron after he made a 'bunny ears' sign behind his back during a photograph taken outside 10 Downing Street. The successful British and Irish Lions squad that toured Australia, where Tuilagi played in the third Test, made an official visit, but the Leicester centre again hit the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.


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