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Tuilagi keen to do talking on pitch


Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi

England centre Manu Tuilagi has vowed to make amends after admitting his "stupid" antics in New Zealand last week let a lot of people down.

Tuilagi ended a World Cup in which England were dogged by off-field controversy by being fined £3,000 by the Rugby Football Union after he was warned by Auckland police for jumping from a ferry into the harbour.

The incident followed England's disappointing quarter-final exit at the hands of France and was the latest in a line of player indiscretions. The 20-year-old Leicester centre admits he is "very disappointed" in himself and he told the Mail on Sunday: "It was such a stupid thing to do, wasn't it?"

He continued: "I've let down my family, I've let down Martin Johnson (England manager) and I've let down the people of England. I didn't mean to offend anyone.

"I didn't kill anyone, I just took a swim. It was a lot worse because it was the day after losing to France and it was at the end of a tournament in which too much focus had been on what the players had been up to off the field.

"I thought I had a decent World Cup on the field but people will be talking about my swim more than my play and, for that reason, I am very disappointed with myself.

"It's only really since I've returned to England and left the World Cup bubble that I've realised people are not too happy with us because of how we played and how we behaved.

"I've already had a long, hard think about how I've conducted myself and, of course, all my brothers have been talking to me, too. I'm going to have to learn quickly but I will. And from now on, I want most of my talking to be done on the rugby pitch."

Defeat last weekend prompted an ongoing inquest into England's premature exit in New Zealand but Tuilagi backed boss Johnson.

"Every single player wants him to stay in charge," he said. "You could see how much losing hurt him and if I've now added to the pressure on his shoulders, then I'm very, very sorry."

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