Comments from the Leicester Tigers chairman today appear to shut door on a potential Manu Tuilagi u-turn.
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.
Sale looking to boost their Premiership title campaign by signing Manu Tuilagi.https://t.co/tMvwXZtkpa— Alex Lowe (@AlexMLowe) July 4, 2020
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.
However, rhe Telegraph had reported that there had been a ‘change of heart’ amongst those involved in the discussions and there was some hope that the next 48 hours may see the 20-year Tuilagi family connection with Leicester continue.
However, Leicester Tigers Chairman Peter Tom’s comments appear to suggest that his exit is a permanent one.
“To see Manu moving on is extremely sad for the club. Obviously, we wish him all the best.”
He added: “The point is five guys have decided that they are going to move on.
“The positive side of that is that a high percentage of the squad had no issues and understood the situation and we’re prepared to accept it and take the Tigers forward. Like I say, I’d prefer it hadn’t happened in the media.
“The fact was these tough decisions had to be made.”
JOIN THE RUCK:
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