Bristol Bears have reportedly joined Sale Shark in the battle to sign England international star Manu Tuilagi, according to reports.
After a number of injury-plagued years, Tuilagi was one of England’s most consistent performers in 2019, and was a key part of the side that reached the final of the Rugby World Cup in November.
Nevertheless, Tigers confirmed the British and Irish Lions centre Tuilagi as one of five frontline stars leaving the club on Tuesday, following a clutch of contract stand-offs.
But they took to their official Twitter account to rubbish the rumours.
Thanks for letting us know… 🤷 https://t.co/e2Enguqh8J— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) July 4, 2020
Our sources, exclusively told us on Thursday that Sale Sharks had already made contact with Tuilagi, which was later confirmed by the Press Association.
There are also suggestions that he could yet stay at Welford Road. The Telegraph has reported that ‘there has been a ‘change of heart’ amongst those involved in the discussions and there is some hope that the next 48 hours may see the 20-year Tuilagi family connection with Leicester continue.
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10 things you didn’t know about Manu Tuilagi
1. Full name
Etuale Manusamoa ‘Manu’ Tuilagi is named after the Samoa national rugby team
He is the younger brother of Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitelea and Sanele Vavae Tuilagi, all of whom are Samoan internationals and also played for Leicester. He has another sibling, Julie, who is fa’afafine (people who identify as having a third gender in Samoa.
In June 2010, Tuilagi faced possible deportation from the UK after it became known that he had entered the country on a holiday visa six years earlier and had stayed on illegally. After an appeal, he was later granted indefinite leave to remain