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Tuilagi's message for Tigers fans

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Manu Tuilagi's blunt message for Tigers fans turning their back on the team

England centre Manu Tuilagi has a rather blunt message for fans turning their back on Leicester Tigers as the club endure another rocky patch of results.

The midlands side slumped to a sixth successive defeat last weekend after being routed – albeit with 14 men – away to the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.

It’s been a rough season so far for the English giants, the latest in many for a club who are struggling to regain their traditional place as one of one of the Premiership’s heaviest hitters. They now look to Europe and the Champions Cup to get back to winning ways.

Tigers won their Round 2 match against Scarlets, but have not won back-to-back matches in the tournament since 2015/16.

Racing 92 host the Geordan Murphy coached side at the Paris La Défense Arena on Sunday, and Tuilagi is hoping the team can turn their fortunes around as the Christmas period begins. However, he has some harsh words for those Tigers fans apparently losing faith in the club.

Speaking on the Tigers website to LTTV Tuilagi was refreshingly blunt when talking about fans enduring the current on-field difficulties the club is facing.

“It has been tough out there, obviously, and the boys all say they don’t read that stuff but it’s there and we read it, and it hurts.”

“You’re either here all the time, both when we’re up and down or don’t be here at all.”

“For me, if you’re not going to support us while we’re down, I don’t want to see you when we’re winning.

“It’s been tough out there. Obviously, people say ‘don’t read that stuff’. It’s there, you read it. It hurts.

“But that motivates me. It makes you want to get better as a team. We’re not going out there to be bad on purpose.”

Despite his injury setbacks, Tuilagi’s own form in Europe has been good. He totalled 12 defenders beaten across the first two rounds, a feat only England teammate Jack Nowell of the Exeter Chiefs has bettered (with 15). However, Leicester have lost 13 of their last 14 away games against TOP 14 opposition, their solitary victory coming against Montpellier in Round 4 of the 2013/14 season.

“This is the time we need to come together, as a club, and take this forward,” he said. “This is the time we need to come together now as a group, I believe with the players that we have 100% we can go forward from this,” he said.

Since the start of the 2016/17 season, Leicester have conceded an average of 29.4 points per game, scoring 16.7 in reply.

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Manu Tuilagi's blunt message for Tigers fans turning their back on the team