Rugby: Manu Tuilagi keeps England career alive with move to Sale Sharks

The 29-year-old will keep his England career alive by staying on home soil.

International Rugby player Manu Tuilagi has completed his switch from Leicester Tigers to Gallagher Premiership rivals Sale Sharks. The 29-year-old will keep his England career alive by staying on home soil, after agreeing a deal with Sale that runs until the end of the 2020/2021 campaign.

The 43-cap England centre was a free agent after rejecting a 25 percent pay cut and leaving Leicester Tigers, the club he joined as a teenager. Tuilagi was sacked by Leicester last week following his decision not to sign a new contract on reduced terms in line with the league’s revised salary cap rules.

Sale Sharks – rugby union club from Greater Manchester. image: Twitter

Talks between Tuilagi, Sale, and Leicester on Friday confirmed that the centre was a free agent and available to sign immediately, with an agreement reached over the weekend for him to become the latest high-profile addition at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“We contacted Manu’s agent and Leicester Tigers last week to discuss the player’s current position,” said Sale rugby director Diamond.

“After discussions on Friday, all parties – Leicester Tigers, Manu Tuilagi, and Sale Sharks – agreed that the player was a free agent and was able to enter into negotiations with another club.”

England head coach Eddie Jones. image: Wikipedia Commons

The move means Tuilagi remains available for selection by England head coach Eddie Jones, who utilised the centre during last year’s run to the Rugby World Cup final after not being able to select him for the majority of his tenure.

The Rugby Football Union does not allow coaches to select players who play their club rugby abroad unless there are “extraordinary circumstances” that are yet to be met, and a move overseas would have all but ended Tuilagi’s England career.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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