Leicester Tigers: Manu Tuilagi affected by 'mental torture' says Matt O'Connor

Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi has played just 17 minutes of Test rugby since 2014

The "mental torture" of injuries played a part in Manu Tuilagi's latest off-field indiscretion, says his Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O'Connor.

Tuilagi was sent home from England's training camp last week after what was reported as an alcohol-related issue.

He missed the second half of last season with a knee injury and has only played 17 minutes in Tests since 2014.

"Hopefully he can come out the other side and prove the doubters wrong," said O'Connor of the centre, 26.

"Manu made a mistake and has learned the lesson from that."

Tuilagi was fined for assaulting two female police officers in 2015, and subsequently left out of England's World Cup squad.

He has also suffered long-term chest and groin problems.

"He's not been able to express himself on the field and with that goes a fair bit of mental torture," said O'Connor.

"Manu has got stuff wrong before but he's not the first young man to get stuff wrong.

"Hopefully moving forward he understands that decisions he makes have ramifications, and he can make the right ones.

"He's just wants to play - there's nothing about the game that he doesn't enjoy."

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