Tuilagi a long-term Tiger

Thu, 30 May 2013 14:16
Large manu tuilagi england trains Large manu tuilagi celebrates Large manu tuilagi ball

England and B&I Lions centre Manu Tuilagi has signed a new long-term contract with Leicester.

England and B&I Lions centre Manu Tuilagi has signed a new long-term contract with Leicester, the English Premiership champions announced on Thursday.

The Samoa-born player began his Leicester career in the 2010-11 season and has since made 62 appearances for the club, scoring 19 tries. He is currently in Hong Kong with the British and Irish Lions.

"Manu is a world-class talent and has taken every challenge that has come his way in his stride in the last three years as a senior player," said Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"We all know what he can do, but he is maturing as a player all the time too, which means he is getting better and better with every season. He was very proud to have the opportunity to follow his brothers into the Leicester Tigers team.

"Leicester is his home and we're delighted that he has committed his long-term future to the club."

Tuilagi is the fifth member of his family to play for the Tigers, with elder brothers Fereti, Henry, Alesana and Andy having also turned out for the Welford Road side.

He picked up his first Premiership title last weekend, scoring a try in Leicester's 37-17 win over Northampton in the final at Twickenham.

He would have played in the final in 2011, but after a storming first campaign with Leicester, he was banned for punching future England team-mate Chris Ashton during his side's semi-final victory over Northampton.

The 22-year-old won the first of his 21 England caps later that year and has since become a key component of head coach Stuart Lancaster's side.

He has attracted occasional negative headlines, however, notably being detained by police and fined by England after jumping off a ferry during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

AFP

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