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Everyone is saying the same thing about the Manu Tuilagi incident

By Ian Cameron
Manu Tuilagi looks on as Tommy Allan is treated - PA

Many rugby fans are questioning how Sale Sharks centre Manu Tuilagi went unpunished for a collision with Tommy Allan in his side’s Gallagher Premiership win over Harlequins yesterday evening.


Allan left the field on a stretcher after receiving lengthy treatment following a collision with Tuilagi at the Stoop. The England midfielder appeared to tuck his arm in moments before the contact was made with the Italian flyhalf, who had fallen to the ground after attempting to collect a high ball.

Referee Wayne Barnes ruled that the incident was a ‘rugby collision’ although some fans were unclear why Tuilagi found himself barrelling into Allan shoulder first with no apparent attempt to wrap his arms, even if he was pulling out of a tackle.

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At the time of publishing Tuilagi had not been cited by the RFU.

Journalist Chris Jones wrote: “Have to hope Tommy Allan is ok. Rugby collision rules Wayne Barnes but doesn’t look great from Tuilagi.”

Welsh journalist Gareth Axenderrie wrote: “England’s 12 in a hugely dangerous high tackle incident 2 days after England’s 10 was. Neither even penalised. The issue here isn’t ‘intent’. The issue here is Tuilagi has no control. At full speed. Makes contact with Allen’s head who doesn’t have the ball and is defenceless.”


“Surely that kind of collision is exactly what rugby is trying to get rid of?” wrote one fan. “Tuilagi being committed isn’t really an excuse if you fly in like a missile.”

“How Manu Tuilagi and Farrell didn’t get red cards this weekend is bonkers,” wrote another fan. “BT Sport not even highlighting the Tuilagi hit! Under doctors orders after the trial by tv comment by Healy!”


Some even suggested that the approaching Guinness Six Nations suggested that England players tend to get the rub of the green in these incidents ahead of the tournament.

Former Welsh prop Lee Jarvis posted: “Farrell shoulder to the head yesterday. Nothing Manu Tuilagi shoulder to the head today. Nothing. 6 nations starts in a few weeks. That’s why.”

Others defended Tuilagi, one fan observing: “Surprised so many people digging Tuilagi out over this. Allan is falling over and that’s caused the contact with head. His head is at waist level. How is Tuilagi meant to anticipate that? This isn’t the same as some of the others we have seen.”

The Maul Over Rugby Pod described it as a faux outrage: “If anything Tuilagi is trying to pull out of this and has no time to change any of his movements on a sodden pitch that wouldn’t allow quick change of direction. But why let that stop the narrative. This faux outrage is a huge part of the problem.”

Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson said of the injury to Allan: “Tommy looks pretty good, it was precautionary.”

England teammate Owen Farrell will face a panel of his hit on Gloucester’s Jack Clermont. Farrell’s hearing will take place tomorrow evening (Tuesday 10 January) and will be heard by an independent disciplinary panel chaired by Philip Evans with Becky Essex and Mitch Read. If banned, he could miss the start of the Six Nations.



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