O'Connor: Tuilagi remorseful and changed man

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:13
Large manu tuilagi leicester tigers 2017 800

REACTION: Troubled centre Manu Tuilagi is aware he messed up at the recent England squad get-together but will be the better man for it, said his Leicester Tigers club coach Matt O'Connor on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old added to his already chequered record off the pitch by being sent home by England head coach Eddie Jones, along with wing Denny Solomona, earlier this month after they allegedly returned the worse for wear from a night out.

However, O'Connor told journalists on Tuesday that Tuilagi - who has not played competitive rugby since January - had returned to his club with a changed attitude and he doubted Jones would take further measures against him. 

"He understands that he made a mistake. He knows he got it wrong," said O'Connor.

"He has come back with a renewed attitude. He understands what the standards are around the England environment.

"It was one of those things. He made a mistake, and retrospectively, he knows he made a mistake. He is moving forward now.

"I would be very surprised if it had further ramifications. Eddie is a smart guy.

"The reality is that Manu made the wrong call, and he has learnt from that, hopefully, and he will be better for it."

Tuilagi had only just been recalled to the England fold, a succession of injuries having prevented him from playing for his country since March 2016.

Since Jones took over in December 2015, he has registered just 17 minutes in an England shirt.

Tuilagi has a long disciplinary record, his misdemeanours including a conviction for assault and a five-week ban for punching England teammate Chris Ashton.

He also had to issue an apology after being caught making 'bunny ears' behind the back of then UK Prime Minister David Cameron during a Downing Street photo-call in 2013.

He also earned opprobrium and a fine for jumping into Auckland Bay after England exited the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

The only light at the end of his tunnel appears to be that he will be fit to play in Leicester's Premiership opener against Bath on September 3.

"He is doing really well," said O'Connor.

"Injury-wise, he is flying, and in a lot better head-space. Hopefully, he will play against Bath in round one."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 17 12 0 5 61
Wasps 17 11 1 5 54
Saracens 17 11 0 6 53
Newcastle Falcons 17 11 0 6 50
Leicester Tigers 17 10 0 7 47
Gloucester 17 9 1 7 46
Bath 17 9 0 8 45
Sale Sharks 17 8 0 9 43
Harlequins 17 7 0 10 36
Northampton Saints 17 6 0 11 31
Worcester Warriors 17 5 0 12 27
London Irish 17 2 0 15 15