Rugby

Tuilagi agrees new Leicester deal to end French speculation

2019-03-13 16:35
Manu Tuilagi (Getty)

London - England centre Manu Tuilagi has ended months of speculation over his future by agreeing a new contract with Leicester Tigers, the English Premiership club announced on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old had been linked with a potentially lucrative move to French Top 14 side Racing 92 following this year's World Cup in Japan, with his previous contract with Leicester due to expire after the end of the current European season.

"This was a big decision for me to make but I am very happy to be able to stay here, I have a lot of friends here, my family is happy here and the club means a lot to me," said Tuilagi in a Leicester statement.

Tuilagi's decision to stay with the Tigers, where he launched his professional career in 2010 after coming through their youth ranks, rather than head to Paris means he has effectively decided to continue his international career, given England's policy of not selecting overseas-based players.

Once the kings of English rugby, Leicester are currently 10th in the 12-team Premiership, and Tuilagi's decision to stay at Welford will be a huge boost to the Tigers' morale.

"Manu is a world-class player with a real X-factor about his game and anyone would want him in their team," said Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy.

"He is at his physical peak as a player at 27, he is a leader within the squad and we look forward to seeing many more big performances from him in a Tigers shirt."

Tuilagi's career has been blighted by injuries, mainly knee and groin problems, with the British and Irish Lions back scoring 40 tries in 121 first-team appearances since making his Leicester debut in 2010.

Last weekend saw Tuilagi score his first international tries in five years when he ran in two during England's 57-14 thrashing of Italy in a Six Nations clash at Twickenham that took his Red Rose tally to 13 tries in 31 Tests.

Tuilagi's decision to commit his future to Leicester was announced just 24 hours before England coach Eddie Jones is due to name his team to play Scotland at Twickenham in Saturday's concluding match of the Six Nations.

Read more on:    england  |  manu tuilagi  |  rugby

 

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