Manu Tuilagi: Aviva Premiership Player of the Month

Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi has been voted the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month as he continues to push for a place in Martin Johnson’s Rugby World Cup squad.

The Leicester Tigers winger was picked for March by a panel made up of rugby media representatives from print, TV, radio and the photographers.

Tuilagi spoke of the pride he felt for being named March’s Player of the Month: “I am very pleased to be the Aviva Player of the Month. To get the award is a great honour. It is down to the hard work of the rest of the squad and the coaching staff at Tigers, who have helped me with my game.”
 “I am surprised with how well it has gone because at the start of the season I was just trying to get into the team and all the time you are working hard and trying to earn that Tigers shirt.”

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Manu is a good player, is working really hard and has been playing well for us. He is developing and learning with every game and is really enjoying his rugby.”

The centre remains England’s problem position ahead of rugby’s showpiece event in September, and Tuilagi’s case for inclusion in Johnno’s squad is growing all the time. If Leicester go on to lift the trophy with Tuilagi playing a prominent role, how can Johnno leave him at home.

What do you think? Should Tuilagi go to the Rugby World Cup?

Manu Tuilagi Player Profile:

Position: Wing/Centre
Date of birth: May 18, 1991
Place of birth: Samoa
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight: 105 kg (16st 8lb)
Tuilagi used to play junior rugby at Hinckley RFC from U14’s to U16’s; winning the Leicestershire county cup at U16’s. He was a student at John Cleveland College where he has won the Leicestershire schools county cup 3 years running and played in the U15’s Daily Mail Vase where on the way to the Final at Twickenham Stadium. Tuilagi again played in the Daily Mail Vase final in u18’s where he scored a try in the victory over Hampton School after collecting a crossfield kick.

10 thoughts on “Manu Tuilagi: Aviva Premiership Player of the Month

  1. After the unexciting (and in some cases plain bad) performances of the England centres in the six nations I can’t see how he can possibly be left out of the squad.

  2. Calling all Leicester bufties:

    Is the M below the Leicester badge because Leicester used to play in letters and the 13 wore M?

    I hope so. If it’s M for Manu that would just be naff.

  3. Stuart, yes you’re right on the M – a throwback to the old days.

    It’s interesting to see Cockerill’s reaction to the hype over some players. As soon as Waldrom discovered his English routes and the media started getting excited…he dropped him! Whilst Manu is being feted as the answer to England’s centre problems, he’s quick to say he’s a ‘good player’ but still in development. Right on. He should definitely be in England’s squad come the world cup, but let’s take one step at a time. Perhaps a few games for either the Saxons or the pre-world cup warm-ups will blood him and see if he can step up to the next level.

  4. Yes – cockers dropped Waldrom for Jordan crane…..which probably helped lose them the game v Leinster!

  5. Manu was the stand out player for leicester against leinster and threatened the leinster centres more than the entire english back line in the 6 nations. He did however get caught out once in defence but he is certainly improving in that category.

    Get him in the WC squad. What harm can it do??

  6. A month ago – think I said it on here as well – I thought it might be too early. I’ve changed my mind now.

    He’s looked good in a dominant Leicester side so I was a slightly worried that he’d be exposed when the Leicester pack were not so controlling. This belief was reinforced by a pretty poor performance of his against the Irish A side.

    BUT, against Leinster he was great. He more than held his own against O’Driscoll despite Leinster’s superior pack. He was the only incisive back Leicester really had in that match, and when they were desperate for a final try they missed Manu who was off the field. He tackled and competed at the break down like a flanker. He rushed up on O’Driscoll once and missed his man, which he has a tendency to do, but he realises his flaws and is not afraid to confront them. He’ll only get better.

    He should definitely go to the World Cup.

    He’ll undoubtedly be behind Tindall, but he’ll provide a far greater impact than Matt Banahan. He can also play on the wing and inside centre too so he’s a pretty valuable utility back which always comes in handy in a long tournament.

  7. manu should be included. he is the form english centre. I agree with the comment about him having a greater impact than bananaman from the bench, as wing gives bannahan the ability to hold defences with his running off floods inside shoulder. come on johnno, get menhvjn the squad!

  8. Well, from player of the month to one of the most reviled players ever! Hero to zero…

    One of rugbys greatest young talents blights the name of rugby with what must be one of the ugliest incidents in rugby history.

    Anyone care to defend him????

  9. Like you i was incensed at this display, both of offending player and inept officials.
    I couldnt watch the rest of the match and indeed this incident has destroyed my confidence in the RFU`s ability to officiate, this is the latest bungle in a long line of poor decisions.
    I love this game but it now tastes like ashes in the mouth.

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