Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

RFU set to confirm Tuilagi citing

Manu Tuilagi

The Rugby Football Union are due to confirm on Tuesday that Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi has been cited for punching Northampton wing Chris Ashton.

Tuilagi's three-punch combination in the first half of Leicester's Aviva Premiership semi-final victory over the Saints left Ashton requiring stitches to a cut above his eye.

The 19-year-old England Saxons international is set to be appear before an RFU disciplinary hearing on Wednesday. If Tuilagi is banned he could miss the Premiership final and the Churchill Cup tournament at the start of June.

The RFU are waiting on a report from referee's assessor Brian Campsall before deciding whether to take any action against Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill and head coach Matt O'Connor. The two senior members of the Tigers coaching staff aimed constant criticism of referee Wayne Barnes in Campsall's direction during the 11-3 win at Welford Road.

Cockerill is on a warning after RFU disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett wrote to him about his behaviour in last year's play-off victory over Bath.

Twickenham disciplinary chiefs are also waiting on a report from Gloucester over comments made by centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu on Twitter following their semi-final defeat at Saracens. The Samoan tweeted: "I would say the referee was a joke but I'd probably get fined for it so I won't.

"Fair play Sarries. We score 20 more tries than them and the only try in the semi. Horribly boring but very clinical. Fair play.

"We scored two tries. One disallowed. No wonder my super15 friends are making jokes about northern hemisphere rugby. Boring rugby wins. The only semi-final that can't sell out!

"Farrell put more bombs on us than the U.S did on Osama Bin Laden."

Fuimaono-Sapolu's thinly-veiled criticism of referee Andrew Small has been noted by the RFU, who have also received some complaints from the public.