Sale boss hails Manu Tuilagi impact

Date published: August 7 2020

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has lauded the professionalism of Manu Tuilagi, who recently joined the club from Leicester Tigers.

Diamond says that Tuilagi has lifted the intensity of training sessions and promised opposition fly-halves will experience a torrid time when the Premiership returns.

Tuilagi’s decision to remain in the Premiership has underlined his commitment to England and Diamond says there is no questioning the work ethic of the hard-running centre.

Diamond revealed that Sale are taking care to manage Tuilagi’s legs given his history of serious groin injuries, but said that the former Tiger has hit the ground running since being cleared to join training.

“He’s settled in very well, he’s trained every session,” he told Sky Sports.

“We are managing his lower limbs cause he’s had a couple of groins and stuff but he’s trained every session.”

Diamond hailed the England international as a coaches dream saying that he has slotted into Sale’s framework seamlessly.

“He is exceptional. We have waited a long time to have people like Manu Tuilagi at the club who don’t make any mistakes in training, who are so difficult to tackle by three men in training, who is humble, who fits in and who understand the plays.”

Diamond believes that Tuilagi fits into the culture and style of play of Sharks perfectly and credited him for picking up the running lines immediately.

“We play a simple game with Paul Deacon coaching the backs. That’s not being derogatory to Deacs, but we play a very simple, effective style of running lines and Manu has picked that up straight away and you wouldn’t want to be a number 10 playing against us.”

Tuilagi’s move to Sale leaves him in contention to add to his 43 England caps and push for a place in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad for the 2021 tour to South Africa.

The Samoan-born centre left the Leicester Tigers after failing to agree a reduced wage package with the club on July 10, and three days later, signed with Sale Sharks.

His arrival at the club will raise expectations for a team that were second on the Premiership standings when the 2019/20 season was suspended.