Cockerill dismisses 'arrogance' allegation
December 10, 2012
Manu Tuilagi was among the tries again as Leicester despatched Treviso at Welford Road © PA Photos
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has rubbished claims that centre Manu Tuilagi was guilty of "arrogance" when scoring for England against New Zealand at Twickenham earlier this month.
Former Australia coach and current Japan boss Eddie Jones accused Stuart Lancaster's side of arrogance in the wake of their stunning 38-21 victory over the All Blacks and was particularly incensed by Tuilagi's decision to walk across the try line having pounced for a crucial second half interception.
"There were already signs at the weekend of arrogance, with their centre walking over the line. That's disrespectful to the world champions," Jones commented. "If they don't control that kind of thing, they won't go forward as a team. You don't want to see that sort of thing creep into the game because it's not good for rugby."
Tuilagi was among the tries again on Sunday as Leicester kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a 33-25 win against Treviso - after which Cockerill dismissed Jones' accusatory remarks.
"That's Eddie isn't it," he told the Daily Mirror. "I don't really care what Eddie Jones says. What's the point of him saying that? Manu played really well.
"He's not an arrogant lad. He's playing the All Blacks, he's scored a try. In the heat of the battle did he celebrate? Yes. Was it arrogance? Probably not. It was more he couldn't believe he'd intercepted the ball."
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