Manu Tuilagi's citing for a dangerous tackle on Champions Cup duty has compelled his British and Irish Lions teammate Brian O'Driscoll to complain that the "game has gone soft".
Tuilagi faces the prospect of being banned for a minimum of two weeks immediately after making his comeback from the latest injury problem to have blighted his career.
Tuilagi has been cited for an alleged dangerous tackle on Chris Cloete in Leicester's 25-16 defeat by Munster at Welford Road on Sunday and must appear before an independent disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
"I think the game has gone soft if we're picking up on marginal collisions like the Manu Tuilagi tackle he's been cited for," former Ireland captain O'Driscoll said on Twitter.
I think the game has gone soft if we're picking up on marginal collisions like the Manu Tuilagi tackle he's been sited for.— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) December 19, 2017
Tuilagi appeared to make a high challenge 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 entry-point sanction for a dangerous tackle is two weeks, the mid-range six weeks and the top end 10 weeks to a year.
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.