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England centre could have been the Man-u for Wales.

ENGLAND centre Manu Tuilagi could have represented Wales in their Six Nations clash next month - after it emerged he started his rugby career in Cardiff.

The21-year-old made his rugby debut as a teenager with Rumney RFC away to Tondu for their under-14 side and initially wanted to be a winger.

He was in Wales because his eldest brother Freddie was playing with the Cardiff Blues at the time between 2004 and 2005.

And Manu was only a couple of years away from playing with Cardiff Blues star Jamie Roberts, who he will line up against on March 16, who also learnt his craft with the team.

The man who coached a young Tuilagi, 50-year-old Peter Coles, said: "Manu came with another lad who played for the under-12s for a game or something like that and then Manu was eligible to play for me at under-14s.

"He went round charging them all in training rather than tackling.

"He was wide as he was tall and when I said: 'Manu, position? he said: 'winger'.

"I said: 'No, no, no.' "He tended to try and run through people rather than round them.

"He was a nice kid. He was very quiet and he didn't know any of the boys."

Mr Coles said had Manu stayed, he would have put him forward for the Cardiff Blues development side but when brother Freddie was released from his Blues contract, Manu moved back to Leicester.


England's Manu Tuilagi celebrates after the Six Nations match in Dublin yesterday

PICTURE: Julien Behal/PA Wire
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 11, 2013
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