The powerful back is renowned for his ball-carrying ability
Who is Manu Tuilagi: Ten things you should know about the England centre
Manu Tuilagi, who usually plays at centre but has also been deployed on the wing, is known for his power and ability to bust through defences. However, his career hasn’t all been smooth sailing…
Ten things you should know about Manu Tuilagi
1. Manu Tuilagi was born on 18 May 1991 in Savai’i, Samoa. He stands at 6ft 1in (1.85m) and weighs 17st 4lb (109.8kg).
2. Tuilagi signed for Sale Sharks in 2020 having previously played for Leicester Tigers.
The emotional nature of his Leicester departure, amidst Covid-related pay cuts, was raw for Tuilagi. He told Sportmail: “When your time is up, you’re gone. If they don’t think you’re good enough any more, you’re done. Whether you like it or not. That’s just the way it is. It’s brutal, but it’s just life.”
3. He qualifies to play for England through residency as he moved to the country when he was 12.
4. Tuilagi made his debut for England in 2011 against Wales. He has since played in two Rugby World Cups – 2011 and 2019 – and was part of the England team that reached the RWC 2019 final.
5. He was selected in the 2013 British & Irish Lions squad and played one Test in the series win over Australia.
6. Tuilagi has five older brothers, four of whom have played for Samoa at international level – Freddie, Henry, Alesana and Anitele’a.
7. His full name is Etuale Manusamoa Tuilagi and he was given Manusamoa after the Samoan rugby team. This is because his elder brother Freddie was selected for his country’s World Cup squad in 1991 – the year Tuilagi was born.
8. He and his partner Chantelle have two children together, daughter Leilani Lea’auta and son Leo Vavae.
9. His career has not been without controversy. He jumped off a ferry in Auckland harbour after England were knocked out of RWC 20211, he pulled ‘bunny ears’ above David Cameron’s head when the 2013 Lions visited 10 Downing Street and he was sent home from an national training camp in 2017 for “team culture issues”.
Most seriously, he pleaded guilty to one count of assualt, one count of criminal damage and two counts of assaulting a police officer in 2015 and was fined more than £5,000. The incident also resulted in him being ruled out of contention for the 2015 World Cup.
10. Tuilagi has suffered many injuries during his career, spending long periods on the sidelines and going years between England appearances.
He used salsa dancing to help him recover from one of his many injuries but he says he won’t be going on Strictly Come Dancing any time soon.
He told Rugby World: “No way! The boys have already given me some banter. It’s good fun. But definitely not that. It’ll be for my wife and I to dance at home, that will be nice.”
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