Manu Tuilagi

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Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi cropped.jpg
Argentina vs England at 2011 Rugby World Cup
Full name Manusamoa Tuilagi
Date of birth (1991-05-18) 18 May 1991 (age 23)
Place of birth Fogapoa, Savai'i, Samoa
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight 112 kg (17 st 9 lb) (247 lb) [1]
School John Cleveland College
Notable relative(s) Anitelea Tuilagi (brother)
Alesana Tuilagi (brother)
Henry Tuilagi (brother)
Sanele Vavae Tuilagi (brother)
Freddie Tuilagi (brother)
Occupation(s) Professional rugby union player
Rugby union career
Current status
Position(s) Outside/Inside Centre
current team Leicester Tigers
Playing career
Position Centre/Wing
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2010– Leicester Tigers 66 (100)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2011
2011–
2013
England Saxons
England
British and Irish Lions
2
24
1
(5)
(55)
(0)
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
2010 England

Manusamoa Tuilagi (born 18 May 1991) is a Samoan professional rugby union player who currently plays for Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers and England. He plays as a centre or on the wing. He is well known for his big hits, sheer force and surprising speed for a man of nearly 18 stone. He is considered to be one of the brightest prospects and best outside centres in world rugby.

He was selected to play for the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour to Australia.

Family[edit]

Manu is the younger brother of Henry Tuilagi, Freddie Tuilagi, Alesana Tuilagi, Anitelea Tuilagi and Sanele Vavae Tuilagi, all of whom are Samoan internationals. Manu is the only one of the six brothers to have played for England internationally; their brother Olotuli is the only one not to have represented Leicester Tigers.[2]

Club career[edit]

Tuilagi played junior rugby at Hinckley RFC from U14's to U16's; winning the Leicestershire county cup at U16's. He was a student at John Cleveland College and Mount Grace High school where he was part of the team that won the Leicestershire schools county cup three years running; he played in the U15's Daily Mail Vase, losing to Langley Park Boys School in the Final at Twickenham Stadium. Tuilagi played in the Daily Mail Vase final again in U18's where, after collecting a crossfield kick, he scored a try in the victory over Hampton School.

Tuilagi represented Leicester in the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham in 2009. The team only made it out of the first round, having beaten London Wasps: in this game, Tuilagi made a big hit on Wasps sevens captain Chris Bishay.

Tuilagi played for the victorious Leicester Tigers side against South Africa at Welford Road on 6 November 2009.[3]

He began his first season (2010–11) with the senior Tigers side with plenty of promise. Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said that he expected Tuilagi to be a first-team regular and to play for England before long.[4] During this season he started the majority of games for Tigers' and was called up for England Saxons duty. In Leicester's Premiership semi-final against Northampton Saints on 14 May 2011, Tuilagi received a yellow card for punching Chris Ashton. Tuilagi was later cited for this offence, and given a 10-week ban, later reduced to five weeks.[5]

International career[edit]

Tuilagi said he would prefer to play internationally for England, where he had grown up. He was selected to start the England Saxons game against Italy 'A' in January 2011,[6] scoring a second-half try in a match which England won 45-17.[7] In June 2011 he was named in England's training squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and has since been a regular in the starting line-up.

In addition Tuilagi has been involved with the England Sevens squad. In May 2010 he represented an "England VII" in the London Floodlit Sevens, playing under the 'Dig Deep England' banner. In helping England retain their title, UR7s said that he had "made the biggest impact against Saracens (in the final) combining brutal power with subtle offloads".[8]

On 4 August 2011, Tuilagi's England début was confirmed for the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at Twickenham on 6 August 2011.[9] He duly started and scored a try in the 44th minute underneath the post, after an inside pass from Jonny Wilkinson. He then played in the third warm-up game, a victory over Ireland, and scored again. He was a regular starter during the World Cup where he was largely recognised as one of the players of the tournament and a shining light in the underachieving England team.

Since his debut Tuilagi has often featured in the England starting line-up and is considered one of their key players from both an attacking and defensive perspective. One of his most outstanding international performances came at the final match of the 2012 Autumn Internationals, where England faced the World Champion All Blacks at Twickenham. England scored 3 tries in this match, beating the All Blacks 38-21 - their largest ever winning margin over the New Zealand team. Tuilagi featured in all 3 tries, providing the scoring pass to fellow centre Brad Barritt in the first instance, powering through several All Black players to deliver the try-scoring pass to Chris Ashton for the second, and then taking the final try himself after intercepting a pass from Kieran Read.

Tuilagi was named as part of the Lions squad for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.[10] Tuilagi played 3 non-test matches (against Western Force, Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels) and also played in the 3rd and final test match against the Wallabies, when he came on as a substitute in the 69th minute. He did not score any points for the Lions.

International tries[edit]

Try Opposing team Location Venue Competition Date Result
1  Wales London, England Twickenham Test Match 6 August 2011 Won
2  Ireland Dublin, Ireland Aviva Stadium Test Match 27 August 2011 Won
3  Georgia Dunedin, New Zealand Otago Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup 18 September 2011 Won
4  Romania Dunedin, New Zealand Otago Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup 24 September 2011 Won
5  France Paris, France Stade de France 2012 Six Nations 11 March 2012 Won
6  Fiji London, England Twickenham Test Match 10 November 2012 Won
7  Fiji London, England Twickenham Test Match 10 November 2012 Won
8  Australia London, England Twickenham Test Match 17 November 2012 Lost
9  New Zealand London, England Twickenham Test Match 1 December 2012 Won
10  France London, England Twickenham 2013 Six Nations 23 February 2013 Won
11  Italy Rome, Italy Stadio Olimpico 2014 Six Nations 15 March 2014 Won

Playing style[edit]

Tuilagi's favoured position is outside centre. From here, he is able to play his favoured game of running hard at the opposition defence and breaking the line.

A big part of Tuilagi's game is strength, either being able to tackle heavily or breaking through opposition lines and gaining ground.

When on the break, Tuiliagi will use his speed to cause problems for the opposition and has scored several tries internationally and at club level in this manner.

Personal life[edit]

In June 2010, Tuilagi faced deportation from the United Kingdom after it emerged that he had entered the country on a holiday visa six years earlier and had stayed on illegally.[11] After an appeal, he was later granted indefinite leave to remain.[12]

In the aftermath of England's 2011 World Cup exit to France, Tuilagi was detained by New Zealand police and subsequently fined £3000 by the England team for jumping into Auckland harbour from a ferry.[13]

Tuilagi has a tattoo on his right arm which represents his Samoan heritage.

In September 2013 he issued an apology to Prime Minister David Cameron after making a “bunny ears” sign behind his back during a visit by the British and Irish Lions squad to Downing Street.[14]

He and Alesana are both Catholic.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.rfu.com/squadsandplayers/englandelite/manusamoatuilagi
  2. ^ Godwin, Hugh (2006-05-28). "Meet the Tuilagis". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  3. ^ Hands, David (7 November 2009). "South Africans forced to bow to Leicester’s youth rally". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Manu Tuilagi backed to play for England at next World Cup". Leicester Mercury. 14 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Leicester's Manu Tuilagi cited for punches on Ashton". BBC Online. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (27 January 2011). "Samoan-born Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi to make England Saxons debut against Italy A". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "England Saxons 45 Italy A 17". Sportinglife.com. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "England victorious at London Floodlit Sevens". ur7s.com. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi to make England debut". BBC News. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Paul Rees (30 April 2013). "Jonny Wilkinson turned down Lions chance, says Warren Gatland". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  11. ^ "Leicester Tigers player is refused leave to stay in the UK". Leicester Mercury. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Rising star at Leicester Tigers wins fight against deportation". Leicester Mercury. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "England fine Manu Tuilagi for ferry jump". BBC News. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Mairs, Gavin (17 September 2013). "Manu Tuilagi forced to apologise for playing prank on Prime Minister David Cameron in No 10 visit". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Chris Foy (8 April 2011). "Leicester's Tuilagi brothers calling on God to see off BOD in Heineken cup clash". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

External links[edit]