England will suffer without him but Manu Tuilagi deserves no sympathy

时间:2019-11-16  作者:真噼  来源:澳门银河网站网址  浏览:95次  评论:30条

We have been here before. One day the penny will drop with the dull-witted , as he resumes his place in the doghouse, that what he does off the field carries just as much weight as what he does on it. Three charges of assault and one of criminal damage? Involving two female police constables? The only good news is that Leicester does not have any harbours to jump into.

It would have been marginally worse, perhaps, had Tuilagi been convicted in September on the eve of the Rugby World Cup. And at least England’s midfield puzzle is now clearer. No longer will the nation have to sweat on the latest bulletins concerning the state of the big man’s groin. No more will have to wrestle with the conundrum of how best to deploy his Samoa-born wrecking ball.

In terms of Lancaster’s wider World Cup ambitions, however, it is a serious blow. England needed the 23-year-old’s bullocking presence to put doubt in the minds of their opponents and hope in their own supporters’ hearts. Had he been fully fit – admittedly a big ‘if’ after playing so little recent rugby – he was both the squad’s trump card and their ace of bass. As Tigers have discovered this season, a team with Tuilagi in it tends to pack far more of a punch than a team without him.

Maybe being deprived by injury of a weekly outlet for his pent-up energy somehow contributed to his idiotic actions. Either way it is hard to have any sympathy for someone who shoves policewomen in the chest and grabs a taxi driver by the throat. Manu can be a sweet-natured soul when the mood takes him but not, clearly, on this occasion.

It left Lancaster with absolutely no option but to jettison him.

Even if Tuilagi had been he might well have struggled to convince the management they should grant him a reprieve. From day one Lancaster has made it crystal clear that anyone seeking to represent England needs to adhere to the highest possible standards of behaviour, 24 hours a day. The fact this year’s World Cup will be played out on home turf with unprecedented levels of scrutiny further underscores that point.

One man’s stupidity also opens the door for someone else. Starting-wise it could well now be Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph at 12 and 13 but Henry Slade, Luther Burrell, Billy Twelvetrees, Kyle Eastmond and even Wasps’ Elliot Daly will all be privately thinking Tuilagi has just vastly improved their World Cup prospects. It could even play into the hands of Sam Burgess, the rugby league convert whom England still like to imagine thundering down the 12 channel in a major Twickenham game at some stage.

Totally scuppered, however, is the feelgood factor that Tuilagi can bring to those at his tattooed elbow. It was more than possible that Lancaster would have started him at 12 and invited him to take the most direct route possible, either skittling defenders himself or acting as a compelling decoy. England’s most glorious Twickenham performance under Lancaster remains the when Tuilagi rampaged past all manner of despairing All Black tacklers. The brutal truth is that England have no one else who instils the same degree of fear among opponents.

There are even those, Sir Clive Woodward included, who reckon he will be lucky to pull on an England jersey again. That depends, surely, on how the man-child reacts to this professional disaster and whether he shows any indication of growing up. was all very well but it did not greatly add to the public image of a deep thinker who immerses himself in Plato’s Republic on a regular basis.

What a shame, either way, that he has now blown the biggest opportunity of his life. Among his most vivid childhood memories at home in Samoa – his father is a retired politician while his mother ran the local store – was watching the 2003 final on television in his home village. When he subsequently played alongside Jonny Wilkinson for England he could scarcely believe it: “I watched Jonny drop that goal and, suddenly, I’m playing with him.” This time, unfortunately for English supporters, neither Jonny nor Manu will be around.