Relief for England as Tuilagi is cleared

England's fears of losing Manu Tuilagi for the Six Natoins have been eased after he was cleared of making a dangerous tackle during Leicester Tigers' 25-16 loss against Munster in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.

Tuilagi - making his first appearance in three months - was cited following a hit on Chris Cloete in the 49th minute at Welford Road, which appeared to make contact with his opponent's head.

The England centre could have been suspended for up to 10 weeks had he been found guilty - which would have ruled him out of England's opening three games of the Six Nations.

However, the citing has been dismissed by an independent disciplinary hearing, meaning Tuilagi - who pleaded not guilty to the offence - will be able to continue his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

An independent disciplinary committee found that Tuilgai had committed "a reckless act of foul play in that his shoulder had made contact with Cloete's head, however, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card."

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