A controversial Irish rugby pundit has claimed that England centre Manu Tuilagi should ‘never be let on a rugby field again’ after his latest red card offence.


Tuilagi was sent off late in England’s Six Nations match with Wales for a dangerous tackle and was last week given a four-week suspension.

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The committee reduced Tuilagi’s six-week suspension by two weeks to take account of mitigating factors, including good conduct and immediate remorse.

England head coach Eddie Jones’ defended the tackle, suggesting there was nothing Tuilagi could have done. “I just find it bizarre. I usually don’t comment, but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy,” Jones said. “You might as well just say you let him go, because how else are you supposed to tackle him? This bit about where your arms are – what a load of rubbish.”

Former Ireland lock Neil Francis doesn’t believe that the sanction goes far enough. Writing in the Irish Independent, Francis says Tuilagi should never be allowed return to the rugby field.


“He has had disciplinary incidents all the way through his career up to the point where he could have taken George North’s head off against Wales.

“I have watched the red-card tackle over and over and I find no comfort or mitigation in what Tuilagi did.”

“The number one thought in his head was to stop George North scoring a try under any circumstances. Legal or not.

“That means that Tuilagi didn’t care about the consequences of an illegal tackle.”


Francis even went as far as suggesting that North could possibly have lost his life as a result of the collision.

“North was prone for a head-to-head or shoulder-to-head and only Henry Slade’s tackle quite possibly saved his life.”

The ex-Ireland lock wasn’t convinced by the handshake moments later.

“Try and take someone’s head off or leave him permanently incapacitated and then nonchalantly shake hands moments later.

“Tuilagi should never be let on a rugby field again.”

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