Manu Tuilagi has been handed a caution by police and a £3,000 fine by English rugby officials after he was reprimanded for jumping from a ferry on Sunday evening.
England were on a team visit to Waiheke Island having been knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by France on Saturday when Tuilagi jumped from the Fullers ferry at around 7pm, with the Samoan born-centre admitting his actions were “silly”.
“I’m really sorry. It was a silly thing to do and I apologise to everybody for any inconvenience,” he said after being released by police.
Auckland Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said: “A member of the England team jumped off a passenger ferry and swam a short distance to pier three at the terminal at 6.48pm last night.
“As he climbed ashore he was met by police officers before being taken to the Auckland Central police station and held for around an hour and a half.
“He was formally warned about the offence of disorderly behaviour before being released back to the team management. There is no suggestion he was pushed from the vessel.”
The incident is the latest in a long line of controversies that have surrounded the England team since they arrived in New Zealand. Mike Tindall was in hot water after he and a handful of his England team-mates were spotted in bar after their uninspired victory over Argentina in the pool stages, while James Haskell, Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley were all punished after a member of staff at the hotel they were staying in complained of inappropriate behaviour from the three.
Tuilagi had also been fined by Rugby World Cup Ltd for wearing a sponsored mouth guard earlier in the tournament.
England head coach Martin Johnson admitted Tuilagi’s behaviour had been “irresponsible”.
“This was an irresponsible thing to do. Manu has been disciplined internally and I have warned him about his future conduct.” He said.
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