Manu Tuilagi: Leicester centre has citing for dangerous tackle dismissed

Manu Tuilagi
Tuilagi was playing in his first match after recovering from a knee injury sustained on the first day of the season

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi will face no disciplinary action after his citing for a dangerous tackle against Munster was dismissed.

The ruling means the England international, 26, can face Saracens in the Premiership on Christmas Eve.

Tuilagi was making his first appearance since suffering a knee injury on the first day of the season.

He was cited for making a tackle on Munster's Chris Cloete in Leicester's 16-25 Champions Cup defeat on Sunday.

A dangerous tackle carries a low-end suspension of two weeks and a high-end of 10 weeks, but Tuilagi is now available to also play against Exeter on 31 December.

Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor said: "Thankfully sanity prevailed. Now that he's back fit you'd be devastated for him and the group if he was to miss games now with a ban.

"We were very surprised the citing came through. There was no malicious intent, it wasn't particularly high and it looked a pretty sound tackle from our perspective."

Former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll criticised the citingexternal-link on social media on Tuesday.

"I think the game has gone soft if we're picking up on marginal collisions like the Manu Tuilagi tackle he's been cited for," he said.

Referring to O'Driscoll's comments, O'Connor added: "We have to make sure we don't pander to the health and safety issues. It's a collision sport - it's a highly physical game, played by tough players.

"We don't need law makers to make it more difficult to get that physical dominance and play the game how it was intended to be played.

"Now there is a duty of care for the ball carrier, accidental or not. If there's a high challenge that causes injury there needs to be sanctions around it."

Brian O'Driscoll