Manu Tuilagi has revealed why he turned down an approaches from Premiership rivals to join Sale Sharks.
The 29-year-old, who has 43 caps, left Tigers earlier this month after failing to agree terms on an amended contract.
According to rugby journalist Hugh Godwin, the England centre turned down an approach from Pat Lam’s men to sign a contract in Manchester through to next summer. There’s also been suggestions that Harlequins were interested.
The signing of the centre is a boost for Sale, who currently sit second in the Premiership, but also for England.
He is understood to be fully committing to the Sharks and will be moving house to the North West rather than drive up and down the M6 every day. The centre explained that a lot of his family already live close to the Salford area.
Tuilagi also revealed he was excited to be in Steve Diamond’s squad, who made him feel extremely wanted, while he’ll also be joining up with a few of his close friends.
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He’ll link up with good pal Denny Solomona with whom he was once sent home from an England training camp after a drinking session.
Diamond told RugbyPass: “Manu and Denny have a bit of a reputation from then and I told them they can only go to those bars in future if I get an invite.”
Tuilagi will link up with Sale at their Carrington training base on Monday and begin working with them ahead of the Premiership’s return next month.
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Manu Tuilagi facts: 10 things you didn’t know about the England star
Here are 10 interesting Manu Tuilagi facts you might not know about the popular England and Sale Sharks centre.
Manu Tuilagi facts:
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