Manu Tuilagi had a solid Six Nations with England and since returning to Leicester Tigers has looked to continue that good run of form. In their recent game against London Irish he timed things perfectly and put in this cracking hit on Dan Bowden.
It’s a well known fact that Tuilagi is the youngest in a long line of rugby playing brothers. Despite moving to England as a teen, and now representing them on the international stage, he says that his time as a youngster in Samoa helped mould him into the player he is today.
“It was brutal,” he told The Telegraph recently, with a smile as he described the unsupervised Friday afternoon rugby matches at his primary school. “We always played against the boys in the year above, and once we got on the pitch we hated them.
“There were no referees and no shirts, so you had to learn to tackle using your shoulder. And if there was an argument — over a forward pass or something — we had this particular way of settling it, where two guys would run at each other one-on-one.
“First he would get the ball, and try to run you over, and you have to smash him. Then it’s your turn to take the ball and go. And no sidestepping! After that, you shake hands and it’s all good. It’s quite funny when I think about it,” he chuckled.
In the Tigers game against London Irish, the same match that Ben Youngs struck Jamie Gibson in, Tuilagi made this huge, much talked about crash tackle on Kiwi flyhalf Dan Bowden.
He lined him up beautifully and despite an incredibly quick offload from Bowden, who no doubt saw the missile coming out of the corner of his eye, Tuilagi smashed him. There’s also a powerful charge from winger Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Bowden left the field not too long afterwards, and whether it was from this hit or not, sadly has to undergo surgery on his injured ankle, ruling him out of the rest of the season. Ironically he’ll be joining Tuilagi at Leicester Tigers in the summer.