WATCH: Manu Tuilagi red-carded 13 minutes into his Sale Sharks return for NASTY elbow to the throat
England centre Manu Tuilagi was given his marching orders just 13 minutes into his return to Sale Sharks’ colours against Northampton Saints.
Tuilagi was released from England’s Six Nations squad and allowed to play for Sale in the Premiership, allowing him to press for Test selection.
Easy red card
Sale Sharks spun the ball out from a lineout to Tuilagi to crash into the Saints’ defence.
The centre thundered past the attempted tackle of Fraser Dingwall before being tackled by Fin Smith, with Dingwall backtracking to win the breakdown penalty for the Saints.
However, Tuilagi lifted his forearm up while being tackled by Smith and made contact with Tommy Freeman’s throat.
Referee Ian Tempest awarded Saints the penalty from the breakdown before being made aware of the incident by TMO Claire Hodnett.
After a short review, Tempest and Hodnett agreed that Tuilagi’s actions required a red card and the centre was sent packing – apologising to Freeman while making his way off the pitch.
🟥 Manu Tuilagi's red card. #GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/V1Ct4XDDF1
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 18, 2023
In doubt for England
A regular fixture in Eddie Jones’ matchday squads, Tuilagi has not featured in either of Steve Borthwick’s two Six Nations Tests to date, with Owen Farrell starting in the midfield alongside Joe Marchant against Scotland. Farrell moved to fly-half in the second Test against Italy, with Ollie Lawrence starting at inside centre and Henry Slade outside him.
Tuilagi’s sending off further hampers his chances of featuring in the Six Nations this year, with a ban likely to rule him out.
He does not have the best disciplinary record. In 2011, while playing for Leicester Tigers, he was banned for 10 weeks for punching Chris Ashton in the Premiership final against Northampton Saints.
In 2020, he copped a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle on George North in the Six Nations match against Wales.
England head to Cardiff in Round Three of the Six Nations to tackle Wales.
READ MORE: Six Nations: England prop Mako Vunipola expects ‘galvanised’ Wales to ‘come out fighting.’
The article WATCH: Manu Tuilagi red-carded 13 minutes into his Sale Sharks return for NASTY elbow to the throat appeared first on Planetrugby.com.