Rugby World Cup 2011

IRB fine other Tuilagi brother

2011-10-04 08:02
Manu Tuilagi (Getty Images)

Auckland - Centre Manu Tuilagi has added to England's disciplinary woes at the Rugby World Cup with a fine for wearing an illegal gumshield bearing a sponsor's name, team officials said on Tuesday.

Tuilagi, whose older brother Alesana was punished for the same misdemeanour last week while playing for Samoa at the tournament, was fined NZ$10 000 for wearing the wrong mouthguard in England's game against Georgia.

The illegal gumshield bore a sponsor's name in contravention of the tournament's policies.

"Manu wore a branded mouthguard or the branding was visible against Georgia when he shouldn't have, so therefore he's been fined NZ$10 000," an England team official said.

"It's a genuine error and now he's just trying to focus on Saturday's quarter-final against France."

The fine comes after two England players, Courtney Lawes and Delon Armitage, were suspended at the World Cup and the team was forced to admit to illegally swapping match balls during the pool encounter with Romania.

Tuilagi, 20, who plays for Leicester Tigers, said it was an inadvertent mistake.

"I didn't know that I had worn the wrong gumshield and it was a branded one so I got fined for it and I now just look forward to the next game," he told reporters.

"It was the same brand (as my brother Alesana). We always wear the same mouthguard and my one is from the England Under 18s and this brand is not allowed by the sponsors in the World Cup."

Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi was fined the same amount for wearing a mouthguard bearing a logo not endorsed by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

Alesana's fine was subsequently paid for by local rugby supporters who launched a "sausage sizzle" fund-raiser.


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