Manu Tuilagi faces potential ban for dangerous tackle in Munster defeat

Tuilagi has been cited for a dangerous tackle on Chris Cloete. Henry Browne/Getty Images

Manu Tuilagi faces the prospect of being banned immediately after making his return from the latest injury setback to have blighted his career.

Tuilagi has been cited for an alleged dangerous tackle on Chris Cloete in Leicester's 25-16 Champions Cup defeat by Munster at Welford Road on Sunday and must appear before an independent disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

The entry-point sanction for a dangerous tackle is two weeks, the mid-range six weeks and the top end 10 weeks to a year.

Tuilagi appeared to make a high tackle on Cloete in the 49th-minute incident after the Munster openside had dropped to the floor to grab Jonny May's kick and risen to his feet.

The England centre was making his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery three months ago and played a full 80 minutes.

Serious chest, groin, knee and hamstring injuries have plagued his career for the past four years and his most recent international appearance was against Wales in March 2016.

Any ban issued by the three-strong panel in London on Wednesday would be a frustrating blow to a player who is in desperate need of game time after spending long spells in the treatment rooms that have raised doubts over his future.

Leinster's 22-17 victory over Exeter at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday has produced two citings.

Cian Healy, the Ireland prop, was shown a yellow card for charging into the ruck and striking the head of Luke Cowan-Dickie with his forearm in the 17th minute and must appear before a hearing.

Exeter lock Mitch Lees has been cited for a similar challenge using his head rather than forearm.