November 10, 2017 16:51 GMT by dailymail.co.uk

Manu Tuilagi no match for Dele Alli in punching challenge

Manu Tuilagi no match for Dele Alli in punching challenge

Leicester centre Tuilagi bouncing three punches off the head of Chris Ashton, remains one of the most iconic and infamous scenes in the recent history of English rugby

It remains one of the most iconic and infamous scenes in the recent history of English rugby.

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi bouncing three punches off the head of former England team-mate Chris Ashton during their Premiership clash with Northampton at Welford Road.

The shocking attack earned Tuilagi a five-week ban and six years on the bell has sounded for round two.

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Manu Tuilagi took part in BT Sport's Hardest Hits challenge on the show Rugby Tonight

Manu Tuilagi took part in BT Sport's Hardest Hits challenge on the show Rugby Tonight

The face of ex-England star Chris Ashton was placed on the punchbag by Lawrence Dallaglio

The face of ex-England star Chris Ashton was placed on the punchbag by Lawrence Dallaglio

Tuilagi, 26, was banned for five weeks back in 2011 for his part in a fight with the Toulon wing

Tuilagi, 26, was banned for five weeks back in 2011 for his part in a fight with the Toulon wing

The 26-year-old was a guest on BT Sport's Rugby Tonight on the eve of this year's autumn internationals and while on the show, the centre took part in the #HardestHits challenge.

Every week sportsmen and women from all disciplines test their punching power, with West Ham star Michail Antonio currently top of the charts with a score of 842.

When it came for Tuilagi to have his shot, former England captain and pundit for the show Lawrence Dallaglio provided some added spice for the occasion, by sticking Ashton's face to the punch bag.

'I thought a bit easier, to make it a bit easier for you I got a little picture of Chris Ashton,' he said while placing a picture of the Toulon wing on the punch bag. 

Tuilagi, 26, laughed and shook his head when Dallaglio stuck the picture to the punchbag

Tuilagi, 26, laughed and shook his head when Dallaglio stuck the picture to the punchbag

But the Leicester and England centre was unable to beat the score of Tottenham's Dele Alli

But the Leicester and England centre was unable to beat the score of Tottenham's Dele Alli

'You had three goes at him, to be fair, and he didn't go down on any of them!'

After Tuilagi laughed at shook his head Dallaglio took it off. But the centre insisted: 'Keep it there!'

Dallaglio joked: 'He's miles away in France (with Toulon) now he can't hear you. Give it your best shot, a big follow through!'

But even with the added motivation, the 6ft, 17st centre was only able to manage a score of 757. 

That left him well bell behind the likes of Antonio, boxer Anthony Yarde and even Tottenham stars of past and present - Dele Alli and Gareth Bale.

Bale was the leader of the competition, having racked up a score of 763. But in August Alli set the bar even higher. While wearing his full Tottenham kit, the England forward managed 767. 

The Tottenham and England forward beat ex-Tottenham star Gareth Bale with a score of 767

The Tottenham and England forward beat ex-Tottenham star Gareth Bale with a score of 767

Alli enjoyed beating the former Spurs star but there were no such celebrations in 2011 when Ashton was on the receiving end of the three-punch attack.

The wing had been caught by a late tackle from Tuilagi and promptly pushed his opponent. The Leicester centre responded with a couple of punches that glanced his face before unleashing a huge right hand to Ashton's face.

Both were given yellow cards for their parts in the incident but it was Tuilagi who faced heavy retrospective action for the attack that left  Ashton requiring stiches above his left eye.

'This sort of incident is very damaging to the image of the game,' the RFU's disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett said at the time.

'Had it occurred in the high street an offender would have been prosecuted in the criminal courts.'

 

 

 

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