Richard Cockerill says Manu Tuilagi should not be judged too harshly

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill believes Manu Tuilagi should not be too harshly judged for jumping from a ferry in New Zealand.

The 20-year-old was fined £3,000 by England rugby officials for his leap a day after England's World Cup exit.

But Tuilagi's club coach Cockerill told BBC East Midlands Today: "He's a young man and young men make mistakes.

"That's a shame because he's a fantastic player and England can build a good side around him."

Tuilagi was also fined £4,800 by Rugby World Cup officials for wearing a sponsored mouthguard in the win over Georgia.

However, Cockerill has faith that the Tigers' Samoan-born star will learn from his recent experiences - both on and off the field.

"He's a fantastic talent," Cockerill added.

"In that French game he was the real positive and potentially put England in the position to maybe win the game."

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