Manu Tuilagi is currently training with his club mates in Leicester as the Tigers continue their preparations ahead of the new Premiership season. Matt O’Conner’s side are up against Bath at Welford Road as they look to kick-off their campaign with a win.
For Tuilagi, he has the England incident hanging over him. The 26-year-old and his international colleague, Denny Solomona, were sent home from England training camp last week due to “team culture issues” which are allegedly related to alcohol consumption.
It is the latest example of misconduct from Tuilagi, who has a decorated disciplinary record, and former teammate of Tuilagi, Brian O’Driscoll, admits that although it wasn’t the worst offence, he doesn’t have too many second chances left.
"He only had a few drinks, he didn’t kill anyone." https://t.co/k3XtoXVwoh
— Pundit Arena Rugby (@PunditRugby) August 13, 2017
Back at Leicester, O’Connor reveals that Tuilagi knows he made a mistake and that he has come back to training with the Tigers with a “renewed attitude.”
“He has come back with a renewed attitude. He understands what the standards are around the England environment,” O’Connor told Sky Sports.
“It was one of those things. He made a mistake, and retrospectively, he knows he made a mistake. He is moving forward now.”
And O’Connor actually believes that it is unlikely that Tuilagi will be punished further by Eddie Jones.
“I would be very surprised if it had further ramifications. Eddie [Jones] is a smart guy.”
Tuilagi has been out of the game for some time now, having not played any rugby since January due to serious injuries but O’Connor believes that there is a good chance of the centre being fit for the opening fixture against Bath.
“He is doing really well. Injury-wise, he is flying, and in a lot better head-space. Hopefully, he will play against Bath in round one.”