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Manu Tuilagi: Fighting Ashton, Auckland ferry jump, scariest brother

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Lynne Cameron/PA Images via Getty Images)

Sale and England midfielder Manu Tuilagi has named which of his brothers he finds the scariest and answered if he would take on Chris Ashton in a charity boxing match. He has also revisited his infamous jump into the water at Auckland harbour during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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Ahead of this Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final versus Saracens at Twickenham, the recently turned 32-year-old took a BT Sport lie detector test in the company of presenter Craig Doyle and what unfolded was insightful.

Aside from answering juvenile questions such as if he ever cupped one of his farts in his hands and smelt it, does he wee in the shower at Sale and does he flex in the mirror, Tuilagi also answered more serious topics such as which sibling most frightens him.

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“That would be Henry. He is massive. He has always been big, but he is big now, he has not played for a while.”

Tuilagi added that he would never beat any of his brothers in a fight before going on to admit that he would never step into the ring either with Ashton. It was May 2011 when the pair infamously clashed on the Welford Road pitch, the then 20-year-old Tuilagi winding up with a five-week ban that meant he missed that year’s Premiership final at Twickenham.

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Asked if for the right price for a charity of his choice would he get into the ring with Ashton, Tuilagi replied no. He was then asked if he thought Ashton would beat him in a boxing match. “Yeah. They [Tuilagi’s biceps] are just for show.”

Doyle also quizzed Tuilagi about his other infamous 2011 incident, his leap into the sea in New Zealand when the passenger ferry he was on was nearing the terminal in Auckland. It resulted in him getting fined. Asked if he jumped off the boat as a dare, Tuilagi said: ‘Yeah.’ Who dared him was the follow-up question. “Well, I dared me. I was lucky it was only about 100 metres to swim, maybe less.”

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Tuilagi went on to admit that he monitors the number of likes his Instagram posts receive, that he has googled himself, and that he has lied to a coach about his weight.

  • BT Sport is the home of the Gallagher Premiership Final. Watch Saracens vs Sale Sharks live and exclusively on BT Sport 1 from 2pm on Saturday, May 27 btsport.com/rugby 

 

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Jon 3 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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