Tuilagi was sent off against Northampton saints for using a forearm


Just 13 minutes into his return to Sale Sharks action after a few weeks in England camp, Manu Tuilagi saw red for this forearm shot on Northampton Saints’ Tommy Freeman.

After consulting the Television Match Official (TMO), referee Ian Tempest sent the 31-year-old centre off for the offence – which at the top of range of punishments, could see Tuilagi banned for more than ten weeks, and at best two weeks.

In the BT Sport commentary, Austin Healey said: “Oh dear, that is not good. It’s not his carrying arm, that is a red card. He actually explodes into it. It’s a red card, nothing else.”

Have we seen a Manu Tuilagi red card before?

In 2020, Tuilagi got a red card while playing for england against Wales, for a no-arms tackle on George North.

And you may remember Tuilagi has copped a ten-week ban before – a punishment he was hit with after punching Chris Ashton in the 2011 Premiership season against (you guessed it) Northampton Saints.

Tuilagi last played for England in the 25-25 draw with the All Blacks and has been in camp with Steve Borthwick’s side, but is yet to feature in the 2023 Six Nations. England next play next week, against Wales in Cardiff, on Saturday February 25. But Tuilagi faces some time away from the England fold.

It was tight in the end, with Saints winning this one 38-34, with the home side getting a penalty try and scores from Freeman, Matt Proctor, Callum Braley, and Fraser Dingwall. For the visitors, Sale scored through Arron Reed, Tom Curry, Rob Du Preez, Sam Dugdale, and Ewan Ashman.

The big bonus for Steve Borthwick was that back-rower Tom Curry was in try-scoring form on his own return for Sale – he missed the Tests against Scotland and Italy due to a hamstring strain.

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