Friday, September 16, 2011

Is 121kg Tuilagi this World Cup’s Lomu?

Official World Cup records list Alesani Tuilagi as 112kg, but his team-mates and coach have rubbished this, saying he clocks in at a lean "121".

Tuilagi scored three tries against Namibia as Samoa looked impressive with a 49-12 victory, and the Leicester Tigers strike wing looks like he could stamp his mark on this World Cup.

The Wallabies are already well aware of his prowess, with the massive wing running over 70 metres, avoiding the chasing Matt Giteau, to score in his team’s 32-23 upset of Australia in Sydney earlier this year.

Samoa backs coach Brian McLean said he has trimmed down since then.

"I wouldn't like to be standing in front of him when he's in full cry," he said.

"I saw someone in the newspaper say he's 110kg but he's actually 121. He was unfit when we played Australia and he was 126. He's quite a sight when he's in full flight."

The real attention will be on this weekend’s match against Wales, where a Samoan victory could see them through to the quarter finals, and Tuilagi will want to make an impact against a Red Dragons team that looked the goods against the Springboks.

However first five-eighth Tusi Pisi (left hamstring) and blindside flank Taiasina Tuifua (rib) are in doubt.

Samoa coach Titimaea Tafua said he wasn’t sure how severe their injuries were.

"The medical people are still working on it," said Tafua.

"We'll know more later. I do hope it's not serious."

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