England centre Manu Tuilagi has denied assaulting two police officers in April, despite pleading guilty to the charges. Tuilagi was speaking at the premiere for the brilliant new film, Pacific Warriors. Tuilagi says he was injured anyway, and Stuart Lancaster knew that.
Tuilagi had reportedly grabbed a taxi driver by the throat and kicked the wing mirror before pushing two female police officers, but he has now said that all that happened was he was grabbed from behind, “so I just pulled my hands away.
“They touched me first and I had no idea they were police officers,” the 24-year-old explained.
Stuart Lancaster axed him from England’s Rugby World Cup squad, but Tuilagi insists that he wouldn’t have been available due to injury, and Lancaster knew that.
“I didn’t assault any of the police officers. It looks like I have basically beaten up the two police officers, which is not the case. In a way, I feel like I’ve been harshly treated. It’s a bit harsh, but life is harsh, you’ve got to put it behind you. I’m still young, I can still hopefully make a good comeback.
“We pleaded guilty because hopefully we wanted to get the case finished and done with.
“That was the plan – to go in, plead guilty and finish the case on that day, which we did. If we’d gone in and not pleaded guilty, we’d have to have adjourned it and that would have been right in the middle of the World Cup.
“It was the plan we went in with, with the lawyer. It was my lawyer. The lawyers said ‘this is the plan’ so I was like the lawyer knows what he is doing and I go with him because I trust him.”