Tuilagi, Solomona sent home from England camp

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Manu Tuilagi (main pix) and Denny Solomona have been sent home from an England training camp due to “team culture issues”, the Rugby Football Union announced on Monday.

Britain’s Press Association said the pair were disciplined after returning drunk from a night out on Sunday during a three-day get-together in Teddington, southwest London.

“We will not be commenting further,” the RFU said in a short press release. 

Leicester centre Tuilagi, 26, was only recalled to the England fold last Thursday, a succession of injuries having prevented him from playing for his country since March 2016.

New Zealand-born Sale wing Solomona, 23, made his England bow during a two-Test tour of Argentina in June, crowning his debut with a match-winning try in a 38-34 win in San Juan.

England head coach Eddie Jones had assembled a 37-man squad for the training camp, which was due to finish on Monday.

Jones spoke in glowing terms about Tuilagi last week, explaining that his display in England’s 38-21 win over New Zealand in 2012 showed he was worth persevering with despite his injury problems.

“I’ve got no idea where he is really until we see him,” Jones said.

“But I do know he can demolish the All Blacks, so he’s worth time, he’s worth effort and worth a lot of care. Manu’s just got to get fit and healthy.”

Tuilagi has a chequered disciplinary record, his misdemeanours including a conviction for assault and a five-week ban for punching England colleague Chris Ashton.

He also had to issue an apology after being caught making ‘bunny ears’ behind the back of former British Prime Minister David Cameron during a Downing Street photo-call in 2013.

Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor said he intended to discuss the matter with Tuilagi.

“This is particularly disappointing because Manu has worked so hard to get back to fitness after long-term injury and to get back into the England squad,” O’Connor said in a statement.

“This matter has been dealt with by the RFU and we will talk to Manu on his return to the club.”

Rugby league convert Solomona will also have to face the music when he returns to Sale.

“This is disappointing news because Denny has worked so hard since joining the club last December,” Sale’s director of rugby Steve Diamond said in a statement.

“He hasn’t had much time off and his performances earned him a place on the recent England tour to Argentina.

“This matter has been dealt with by the RFU and I will speak to Denny on his return to Carrington.” – Agence France-Presse

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