The RFU have have taken the decision to ban Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi for five weeks after an incident that saw the 20 year old punch Northampton winger Chris Ashton three times during an Aviva Premiership play off semi final.
The RFU’s disciplinary office gave the following statement.
“This was a top end entry offence because there were three punches, the third of which was extremely forceful and caused significant injury, however we also determined that there was some provocation from Chris Ashton who pushed and struck him in the back with his knee.”
“The top end range is eight to 52 weeks and we determined that the appropriate entry point within that range is 10 weeks. This was reduced by 50% to reflect Manu’s youth and inexperience, his admission of guilt and his genuine remorse.”
“This sort of incident is very damaging to the image of the game and there is no place for this type of offending on the rugby pitch. Nevertheless we are confident that Manu Tuilagi will learn a valuable lesson from this.”
The ban means that Tuilagi will now miss Leicester Tigers Premiership final at Twickenham to be played against Saracens on May 28th.