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Rugby World Cup
Tuilagi fined for ferry dive
ESPNscrum Staff
October 9, 2011

England international Manu Tuilagi has been fined £3,000 by the Rugby Football Union after he was warned by Auckland police for jumping from a ferry into the harbour.

Tuilagi, 20, swam to a nearby pier at the Auckland Ferry Terminal where he was met by police at 1848 local time (0648 BST) and taken to Auckland Central Police station.

The Leicester centre was given a pre-charge warning for disorderly behaviour before being released back to the England team management. Tuilagi's fine will be paid to the Rugby World Cup's Christchurch appeal.

England manager Martin Johnson said: "This was an irresponsible thing to do. Manu has been disciplined internally and I have warned him about his future conduct."

Neither the police nor the RFU would confirm whether Tuilagi was drunk at the time he jumped from the ferry, shortly before it berthed on the Auckland waterfront. It has been reported that Tuilagi was returning from a day trip with to Waiheke Island with fellow England team-mates.

"I'm really sorry. It was a silly thing to do and I apologise to everybody for any inconvenience caused," Tuilagi said.

Tuilagi's fine is less than he was ordered to pay by Rugby World Cup officials for wearing a branded gum-shield. Both Manu and his brother Alesana, who plays for Samoa, were fined NZ$10,000 (£4,800) for breaking the tournament's strict commercial regulations.

England's World Cup was ended by a 19-12 quarter-final defeat to France on Saturday but their campaign continues to be dogged by controversy.

England had to ban coaches Dave Alred and Paul Stridgeon from the Scotland game after they were found to have illegally switched balls during England's win against Romania. The RFU acted to suspend the coaches after fearing the World Cup authorities could dock them points.

The off-field conduct of some England squad members has been in the spotlight since a group of players enjoyed a night out drinking in Queenstown. Johnson had given the players permission to go out and some ended up in a backpackers' bar which was staging a dwarf-racing competition.

Mike Tindall was captured on CCTV footage from the Altitude Bar in conversation with a woman, who is reported to have been an old flame. A bouncer has been charged with illegally obtaining the footage.

Tindall later issued an apology for misleading the England management over his movements that night, having initially claimed he did not go on to another bar after Altitude.

Johnson also confirmed during the tournament that he had reprimanded James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton after a female member of staff in their Dunedin hotel was reportedly teased with lewd comments.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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