Manu Tuilagi: England centre makes ‘easy decision’ on his future
England centre Manu Tuilagi has rejected overseas interest to sign a new one-year contract with Sale Sharks.
Tuilagi ends speculation that he would join the exodus of Premiership stars to the Top 14.
His re-signing comes on the same day Northampton Saints announced that Courtney Lawes would remain in the Premiership next season.
“My family and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to stay up North for another year,” Tuilagi said on the confirmation of his new deal.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Sale so far, and we have really settled here in the North West,”
“It was an easy decision. I love coming to work every day, and I couldn’t ask for a better environment on and off the pitch.
“We’re so tight as a group, which is why I think we’ve had such a good run this season. There couldn’t be a better time to be a Shark.”
Tuilagi joined Sale from Leicester Tigers in 2020. However, his time in Manchester has been marred by significant hamstring and Achilles injuries.
The England star earned his 51st Test cap during the recent Six Nations and made a Test appearance for the Lions in 2013.
The right decision
The 31-year-old has been ever-present this season for Sale, helping the side secure a home play-off semi-final for the first time in more than 15 years.
“This deal says so much about this club and what we’re building, but it says more about Manu the man,” Sale Sharks boss Alex Sanderson said.
“It says so much about what really matters to him, and that’s rare in professional sports people.
“Manu is really happy here, but I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to stay. For us and for Manu and his family, I think it’s the right decision.
“Manu has been part of winning squads with Leicester and England, and this environment is the one he seems to be enjoying and thriving in the most.”
Sanderson hails ‘Squadfather’
Sanderson hailed his Samoa-born centre and dubbed the powerhouse the Sharks’ ‘Squadfather’.
“His impact on the squad is huge, and he makes everyone around him better, but he’s not one for Churchillian speeches,” Sanderson added.
“He does his work with the rest of the squad in those little conversations around the coffee machine. It’s massive for the younger lads.
“But he’s not here to be a cheerleader. On the field, we feel like he’s getting better, and there’s so much more to come.
“He’s not content live on past performances, and his drive to improve and drag everyone along with him is massive. We’re delighted to have him sticking around.”
READ MORE: ‘One of the very best in the world’ pens new contract with Northampton Saints
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