PM David Cameron forgives England's Manu Tuilagi after prank

Manu Tuilagi plays a prank on Prime Minister at Downing Street

Prime Minister David Cameron has forgiven England centre Manu Tuilagi for playing a prank on him during a visit to Downing Street.

Tuilagi, 22, made a 'bunny' gesture with two fingers behind Cameron's head while posing for a photo with British and Irish Lions players on Monday.

Tuilagi plans to write a letter of apology, but the Prime Minister insists there is no reason to be sorry.

"No need to apologise. I know it was just a bit of fun," he tweeted.external-link

'Daft' Tuilagi regrets bunny photo

Tuilagi responded with a tweet of his own:external-link "Cheers for having a great sense of humour. [You are] always welcome around mine for dinner and to get me back!"

The player had already tweeted an apology for his actions at a function to mark the Lions' series win over Australia.

And his Leicester Tigers coach, Richard Cockerill, insisted there was no malice in Tuilagi's actions.

"He has been a bit daft. He has made an error of judgement," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester. "He should know better. He is old enough and wise enough to know he shouldn't have done it.

"We have reminded him of his responsibility and he has apologised on Twitter and he is writing to the Prime Minister to apologise.

"He probably thinks he is still at school messing about with his mates. There is a quality to that but also there is a time and a place."

The prank on the steps of the PM's official residence is not the first time Tuilagi has been at the centre of controversy.

He was fined £3,000 by the Rugby Football Union after he jumped from a ferry during England's World Cup campaign in New Zealand two years ago.

Tuilagi was cautioned by police on that occasion and disciplined by then England manager Martin Johnson.

He was also fined £4,800 by the International Rugby Board during the World Cup for wearing a mouthguard bearing the name of a sponsor.

Tuilagi powers through for debut try

Tuilagi made three starts on the Lions tour but a nerve injury sustained against Queensland Reds kept him out for two weeks before returning to action and appearing as a replacement in the series-clinching Test in Sydney.

The Samoan-born player has scored 10 tries in his 21 games for England following his debut against Wales in August 2011.

He is the youngest player to represent England in a World Cup, playing against Argentina at the age of 20 years and 115 days.

Following the latest incident, Tuilagi's Leicester, England and Lions team-mate Ben Youngs, tweeted: "The man just couldn't stop himself."

The scrum-half later removed the tweet and posted a picture of himself posing outside 10 Downing Street.

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns, an England team-mate, tweeted: "Great bottle from Manu Tuilagi! Haha."

Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson was less impressed, tweeting: "My view on Tuilagi/PM. I'm utterly embarrassed. When will some learn, there's a time and a place."

Ex-England hooker Brian Moore branded Tuilagi a "complete and utter prat".

The British and Irish Lions' next tour is to New Zealand in 2017.

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