KEO News Wire

Tuilagi agrees Leicester extension, ending Racing rumours

England centre Manu Tuilagi has committed his future to Leicester Tigers by signing a new contract, ending speculation he would make a move to the Top 14 with Racing 92.

Tuilagi’s future at club level seemed to lie in France, after reports emerged suggesting he had agreed a lucrative deal to leave Welford Road.

Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy acknowledged his side were facing a major battle to keep the player last month, and England head coach Eddie Jones also hinted at a move to Racing being close.

However, the Tigers have been able to convince Tuilagi to remain at the club, the 27-year-old signing a new deal on Wednesday.

“This is a massive club and it means a lot to me and my family,” Tuilagi told Leicester’s official website.

“I love the club and I want to repay the loyalty they have shown me in my time here. We are all behind Geordan Murphy and his ambitions for the team, and I’m very passionate about playing my part in bringing back the success we all expect at such a massive club.

“This was a big decision for me to make but I am very happy to be able to stay here. I have a lot of friends here, my family is happy here and the club means a lot to me.”

Tuilagi’s decision will also be welcomed by the England hierarchy, given a move to France would have made him unavailable for the national team under their eligibility rules.

The Samoan-born back – capped 31 times by his country – is expected to be a major part of Jones’ squad for this year’s World Cup in Japan.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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