I won”t be stupid again! England bad-boy Tuilagi vows to do right thing after World Cup shame
Rocky ride: Manu Tuilagi has hit the headlines on and off the pitch
Manu Tuilagi has vowed to avoid further trouble after an “awesome and hectic” first year in professional rugby.
Tuilagi has gone from Leicester”s academy team to be first-choice centre for England and gained notoriety along the way. Diving from a ferry in Auckland harbour, following England”s defeat by France in the World Cup quarter-final, earned him a 3,000 fine and a warning from then manager Martin Johnson.
“It was a stupid thing to do and I have let everyone down,” the 20-year-old admitted.
“I apologised and I am now looking forward to playing. I just want to work hard and do the right things.
“It seems like only yesterday that I was playing for the academy. It”s taken off quicker than expected. I wanted to get in the Leicester team at first, but I then got picked for the Saxons and the full England team. I”ve now got to stay fit and play well for Leicester.”
His return for Leicester after the World Cup was curtailed when he broke his cheekbone, against Gloucester, in his first club match.
Awesome: Tuilagi has enjoyed a meteoric rise
That injury put him out for seven weeks and he could easily have spent further time suspended if Leicester officials had not stopped him running towards a touchline brawl, involving his brother Alesana, in the Premiership match against Northampton last month.
“I was the peacemaker,” Tuilagi insisted. “I wanted to make sure Alesana was OK.” He showed signs of his best form in last Saturday”s Heineken Cup win over Clermont Auvergne, scoring a crucial try in the 23-19 win.
“It”s a really good feeling to be back, because it”s been really frustrating as it”s the longest I have been out of the game,” Tuilagi added.
England coaches John Wells and Mike Ford have agreed severance deals. Both are looking for new roles after being part of the England coaching team at the last two World Cups.