Leicester keep hold of Tuilagi

Date published: December 7 2015

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Manu Tuilagi has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract to stay with Leicester Tigers.

Tuilagi, 24, had been linked with a number of clubs including Saracens, Toulouse, Wasps and Worcester as he approached the end of his current deal at the club, but says he is "very happy" to stay at Welford Road.

An England international with 25 caps, as well as a Test appearance with the British & Irish Lions in 2013, Tuilagi has spent all of his professional club career at Tigers since coming through the academy.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Manu is a world-class talent and we are delighted that he sees his future with the Tigers.

"We always wanted him to stay and we always believed that he wanted to stay too.

"Manu has had very close connections to the club from a very young age and he is a big part of the Tigers family. The club has been very good to him and he has shown huge loyalty to the club in return in wanting to stay here.

"This is where he is at home, the supporters love him and we're looking forward to getting him back out on the pitch in the near future.

"Manu is in the prime of his rugby life at 24, he has very good players and a good coaching team around him here and he is very keen to play his part in the squad."

Following in the footsteps of international older brothers, Tuilagi made his big breakthrough with Tigers in 2011/12 and shared in the Premiership title win the following season. He has 24 tries in 76 appearances for the club.

Tuilagi said: "The Tigers has been a big part of my life and following my brothers into the team here was a very proud moment for me.

"The club always wants to be successful, the players and coaches set very high standards and we are always looking to improve. It is a great club and I'm very settled here. The club and the supporters have been very good to me.

"The way the team has been playing this season is very exciting with Aaron Mauger as head coach and that is another reason I'm looking forward to getting back out on the pitch in Tigers colours."

The Tuilagi announcement follows hot on the heels of news that colleagues Ben Youngs, Freddie Burns and club captain Ed Slater have also agreed new contracts at Tigers.

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