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Manu Tuilagi savagely beating up Chris Ashton is so bad it comes with a graphic warning on YouTube

By Dylan James

Violent altercations in a game like rugby are not uncommon, so for raised eyebrows you'd need a pretty awful altercation. This series of punches in the English Premiership 11 years ago is definitely one of those.

England star Manu Tuilagi, then of Leicester Tigers, blindsided Northampton's speedster Chris Ashton off the ball, igniting the flame in their exchange. Ashton, obviously aggravated, shoved the Tigers centre in the back.

Tuilagi was straight to his feet, and threw three punches at Ashton, all connecting cleanly with his head. The third punch is particularly hard to watch as you can see the Northampton winger's head jerk back unnaturally. Remarkably, Ashton stayed on his feet after a flurry of blows with blood pouring from his head. It is not for the faint-hearted.

GRAPHIC WARNING

In a bizarre outcome, both players were yellow carded by referee Wayne Barnes. Tuilagi was later ordered to pay £500 in costs and got a five-week ban, which seemed like a let off for the 20-year-old.

The commentators were in utter disbelief with the officiating, "Chris Ashton has had an injustice done to him, that is disgraceful." When watching back through in slow motion, it is very hard to disagree.

The clip has amassed over 2.5 million views across YouTube, Tik Tok and Facebook, and it is no surprise either. This was different from 'normal' brawling in rugby, what makes it so hard to watch is that Ashton is beaten without reply. That coupled with the savage intent of Tuilagi, it makes for astonishing viewing.

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