Wednesday, 7 October 2015


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Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi cropped.jpg
Argentina vs England at 2011 Rugby World Cup
Full nameManusamoa Tuilagi
Date of birth18 May 1991 (age 24)
Place of birthFogapoaSavai'iSamoa
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight112 kg (17 st 9 lb, 247 lb) [1]
SchoolJohn 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
Current teamLeicester Tigers
Playing career
Professional / senior clubs
YearsClub / teamCaps(points)
2010–Leicester Tigers77(120)
correct as of 18 October 2014.
National team(s)
YearsClub / teamCaps(points)
England Saxons
British and Irish Lions
Sevens national teams
YearsClub / teamComps
Manusamoa Tuilagi (born 18 May 1991) is a Samoa-born English 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. Despite his youth and his being a back, traditionally the "small" players on a rugby pitch, Tuilagi is the strongest player in the England squad, with the ability to bench press over 200 kg (over 440 lb).[2] He is considered to be one of the brightest prospects and best outside centres in world rugby[citation needed].
He was selected to play for the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour to Australia.


Manu is the younger brother of Henry TuilagiFreddie TuilagiAlesana TuilagiAnitelea 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 sister, Julie, is the only one not to have represented Leicester Tigers.[3]

Club career

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.[4]
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.[5] 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.[6]

International career

Tuilagi said he would prefer to play internationally for England, where he had grown up. He was selected to start theEngland Saxons game against Italy 'A' in January 2011,[7] scoring a second-half try in a match which England won 45-17.[8]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".[9]
On 4 August 2011, Tuilagi's England d├ębut was confirmed for the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at Twickenham on 6 August 2011.[10] 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.[11] Tuilagi played 3 non-test matches (against Western ForceQueensland 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

TryOpposing teamLocationVenueCompetitionDateResult
1 WalesLondonEnglandTwickenhamTest Match6 August 2011Won
2 IrelandDublinIrelandAviva StadiumTest Match27 August 2011Won
3 GeorgiaDunedinNew ZealandOtago Stadium2011 Rugby World Cup18 September 2011Won
4 RomaniaDunedinNew ZealandOtago Stadium2011 Rugby World Cup24 September 2011Won
5 FranceParisFranceStade de France2012 Six Nations11 March 2012Won
6 FijiLondonEnglandTwickenhamTest Match10 November 2012Won
7 FijiLondonEnglandTwickenhamTest Match10 November 2012Won
8 AustraliaLondonEnglandTwickenhamTest Match17 November 2012Lost
9 New ZealandLondonEnglandTwickenhamTest Match1 December 2012Won
10 FranceLondonEnglandTwickenham2013 Six Nations23 February 2013Won
11 ItalyRomeItalyStadio Olimpico2014 Six Nations15 March 2014Won

Playing style

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. He is also fairly fast considering his size and weight which on occasions allow him to break away from defenders if he breaks through the line.
When on the break, Tuilagi will either look to offload the ball to a team mate to allow them to score or if no one is around him he will look to try and score himself. His known ability to break the line attracts more defenders around him, therefore creating space in other areas of the playing field for his team to utilise.

Personal life

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.[12] After an appeal, he was later granted indefinite leave to remain.[13]
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.[14]
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.[15]
He and Alesana are both Catholic.[16]