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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 10:29 UK

Leicester Tigers' Manu Tuilagi in work permit hitch

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Tuilagi is 'an asset to England'

Leicester Tigers winger Manu Tuilagi may have to return to Samoa after having his request for a UK permit turned down by the Home Office.

The 19-year-old has played for the Tigers' academy side and has even represented England at Under-18 level.

Head coach Richard Cockerill told BBC East Midlands Today: "He wants to play for England, he's an asset to the country and is a fantastic role model.

"His family and friends are here, and he wants to make his life here."

Tuilagi, one of six brothers to have come through the ranks at Welford Road, may now have to head home.

Cockerill says the club is doing what it can to get the decision reversed.

"We're in the process of writing to MPs and are trying to get support," he added.

"It would be a crying shame of Manu couldn't stay because he's fantastic for rugby in Leicestershire and for English rugby."



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