A present from Manu Tuilagi still stumps the Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus months later.
“Do you think Manu Tuilagi will read this interview?” Erasmus asked journalist Nik Simon during his exclusive interview with the Daily Mail.
“After that match, Joe Marler sent me a bottle of wine. That was lekker because me and Joe Marler are the same kind of guy. We are not suit-and-tie guys.
“But Manu Tuilagi gave our team manager a teddy bear and asked them to pass it on to me.
“I still don’t know why. If he was calling me a cry baby, that’s funny, he got me. If he was taking the p***, I like that. If it was sincere and it was meant for my daughters, that’s kind. I would love to know.”
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Premiership’s highest paid player each season from 1998 to 2022
1997-1998: Va’aiga Tuigamala (Newcastle Falcons) – £80,000 per seasonEmbed from Getty Images
1999-2000: Francois Pienaar (Saracens) – £85,000 per seasonEmbed from Getty Images
2000-2001: Jason Robinson (Sale Sharks) – £180,000 per seasonEmbed from Getty Images