Tuilagi gives his side of the story

Date published: September 11 2015

England centre Manu Tuilagi has lifted the lid on the circumstances which saw him be dropped from the national squad.

Tuilagi was speaking on Thursday to reporters at the launch of the Pacific Warriors documentary in London.

An incident involving a taxi in Leicester ended with Tuilagi being arrested for assaulting two police officers.

Dropped from England's Elite Player Squad until January 2016, Tuilagi revealed that he went with the advice of his lawyers by pleading guilty and paying £6,025 in fines, compensation, charges and costs.

"It’s a bit harsh but life is harsh. My side of the story is not out. I always own up to what I’ve done," Tuilagi said.

"I feel with this one like I’ve owned up to what I’ve not done. That’s why I feel it’s important to get my side of the story out.

"I didn’t assault any of the [female] police officers. It looks like I have basically beaten up the two police officers which is not the case.

“I felt someone try to grab my hands so I just pulled my hands away. That’s it. Basically, that is assault. You can just touch someone and that is assault.

“The lawyers said: ‘This is the plan’, so I was like, the lawyer knows what he is doing and I went with him because I trust him.”

Regardless of his suspension, Tuilagi was never going to be fit in time to play in the World Cup anyway as he persistenly tries to come back from a groin injury.

“The point I knew I would miss the World Cup was after the Six Nations.

"I started running and that went really well. But when I upped the pace and did some sprinting, it didn’t react too well. I came back the next day after waking up and it was pretty much back to where we started.

"I thought then that this is the third time I’ve tried to come back, so I thought I need to put it in my head that I won’t make the World Cup.”