A British and Irish Lions rugby star who gave Prime Minister David Cameron "bunny ears" during a team visit to Downing Street has apologised for his photo prank.

England centre Manu Tuilagi stuck his fingers above Cameron's head during a photo shoot of players and management at the function, to honour the Lions' victory over Australia.

The Leicester Tigers centre said:

It is not the first time Tuilagi has been the centre of controversy as he was fined £3,000 by the Rugby Football Union after he jumped from a ferry during England's World Cup campaign in New Zealand two years ago.

Tuilagi was cautioned by police on that occasion and disciplined by then England coach Martin Johnson.

Following his latest prank, Tuilagi's team-mates reacted on social networking site Twitter.

Ben Youngs, a fellow British and Irish Lion, England and Tigers player, tweeted: "The man@Manutuilagi just couldn't stop himself."

The scrum-half later removed the tweet and posted a picture of himself posing outside 10 Downing Street.

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns tweeted: "Great bottle from Manu Tuilagi! Haha. #chief".

Cameron welcomed the victorious British and Irish Lions rugby squad for the reception yesterday, when he was presented with fly-half Jonny Sexton's number 10 jersey.

He said: "It's a huge honour. My son, just because of you guys, has just started tag rugby. He will be so excited about this jersey."

Cameron congratulated captain Sam Warburton and coach Warren Gatland as they brought along the Tom Richards Cup to Number 10.

The Lions, comprised of players from Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, won the first and third tests to secure a 2-1 triumph in the three-match series with Australia during the summer.

The players and coaching staff were joined by their wives and girlfriends for the event.

Some of the Lions party took the opportunity to visit the Red Lion pub before the reception, which is in Parliament Street, just down the road from 10 Downing Street.

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  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, welcomes the British & Irish Lions team to a reception at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, right, poses with a Lions shirt presented to him with (left to right) head coach Warren Gatland, tour manager Andy Irvine and tour captain Sam Warburton during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, right, looks at the Tom Richards Trophy as (left to right) head coach Warren Gatland, tour manager Andy Irvine and tour captain Sam Warburton look on during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine speaks to Prime Minister David Cameron during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, right, poses with a Lions shirt presented to him with (left to right) tour manager Andy Irvine and tour captain Sam Warburton during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine addresses members of the British and Irish Lions tour team as Prime Minister David Cameron looks on, during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, right, poses with a Lions shirt presented to him with (left to right) head coach Warren Gatland, tour manager Andy Irvine and tour captain Sam Warburton during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine addresses members of the British and Irish Lions tour team as Prime Minister David Cameron looks on, during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine speaks to Prime Minister David Cameron during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine addresses members of the British and Irish Lions tour team during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron,welcomes the British & Irish Lions team to a reception at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron,welcomes the British & Irish Lions team to a reception at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron addresses members of the British and Irish Lions tour team during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Sam Warburton tour captain and Warren Gatland head coach arrive for a reception for the British and Irish Lions with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Tour manager Andy Irvine speaks to Prime Minister David Cameron during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Brian O'Driscoll and his wife arrive for a reception for the British and Irish Lions with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, addresses members of the British and Irish Lions tour team during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, second right, meets British Lions players (left to right) Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell and Sean Maitland during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron, right, poses with a Lions shirt presented to him with (left to right) head coach Warren Gatland, tour manager Andy Irvine and tour captain Sam Warburton during a reception for the British and Irish Lions at 10 Downing Street in London.

  • British Lions Reception At Downing Street

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Prime Minister David Cameron poses with the British Lions rugby squad during an official reception at Downing Street on September 16, 2013 in London, England. The reception was to mark the British Lions victorious tour of Australia in the summer. (Photo by Chris Harris/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • RUGBY-BRITISH LIONS

    British Prime Minister David Cameron heads inside after posing with the British Lions team for a photocall on the steps of number 10, Downing Street on September 16, 2013 in London, England. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Cameron gets "bunny ears"

    File photo dated 16/09/13 of British and Irish Lions rugby star Manu Tuilagi sticking his fingers above Prime Minister David Cameron's head to give him "bunny ears" during a photo shoot at Downing Street to honour the Lions' victory over Australia.

  • British Lions visit Downing Street

    Prime Minister David Cameron,welcomes the British & Irish Lions team to a reception at 10 Downing Street in London.