Manu Tuilagi learns his fate after dangerous elbow incident
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: England centre Manu Tuilagi received a four-match ban on Tuesday after being sent off playing for club side Sale Sharks last weekend.
But the powerhouse midfielder could still be available to face Ireland in a Six Nations finale in Dublin on March 18.
Tuilagi was sent off for an elbow to the throat of Tommy Freeman during Sale’s Premiership defeat at Northampton on Saturday.
🟥 Manu Tuilagi’s red card. #GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/V1Ct4XDDF1
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 18, 2023
A disciplinary hearing issued a four-game ban but that will be reduced by one match if Tuilagi completes World Rugby’s coaching intervention course, which is designed to improve players’ tackle techniques.
But even a three-game ban will rule Tuilagi out of England’s Six Nations fixtures against Wales on Saturday and France a fortnight later.
But he could still be available for the match away to Ireland at Lansdowne Road.
The 31-year-old Tuilagi has been capped 50 times by England in an injury-hit career.
But he has failed to make it into the team for England’s first two games under new coach Steve Borthwick, with a 23-29 defeat by Scotland in a Six Nations opener at Twickenham followed by a 31-14 second-round win over Italy.
England captain Owen Farrell, Ollie Lawrence, Joe Marchant and Henry Slade were the preferred midfield options in those two matches, with Tuilagi unable even to gain a place on the bench.
He had hoped to use last weekend’s Premiership match at Franklin’s Gardens to restate his worth to Borthwick, but his 14th-minute illegal hit on Freeman further reduced Tuilagi’s chances of featuring in this Six Nations.