Club chairman Peter Tom says Manu Tuilagi’s commitment to a new contract is a sign of support for Geordan Murphy’s ambitions as head coach at Leicester Tigers.
Having already announced the signing of back-rower Jordan Taufua from the Crusaders and new contract deals for a number of young players who have come through the Tigers academy and international age-groups to establish themselves in senior rugby this season, the club has now confirmed agreement with Tuilagi over a new contract.
“It’s great news for everybody at the club that Manu is staying,” said chairman Tom.
“He is a world-class player who came through our academy to make his name in professional rugby and now on the world stage.
“He was very keen to stay and wants to play his part in what Geordan is building for the future.
“We appreciate that Manu can attract offers from elsewhere in the rugby world – who wouldn’t want him in their team? – but we also know the love and the passion he has for the Tigers after nearly 10 years in the team.”
“Manu was very keen to stay and wants to play his part in what Geordan is building for the future."Peter Tom
Oldest brother Freddie Tuilagi joined Tigers as a player back in the 2000/01 season and the family has been a prominent part of Welford Road ever since with Henry, Alesana and then Manu all playing key roles in the team.
“The Tigers has played a major part in Manu’s life,” added Tom. “He was very proud to follow his brothers into the team and then seeing two nephews follow him through the academy.”
As well as continuing his family’s association with Welford Road, Tuilagi is also part of a core in the playing group which came through the Tigers academy with club captain Tom Youngs, internationals Dan Cole, George Ford and Ben Youngs, and the long-serving Matt Smith taking a similar route.
“We put a lot of emphasis on having players with a strong connection to the club,” said chairman Tom. “It’s important to us to have homegrown players who help to drive the playing squad. Under Geordan, we’ve already seen another generation of players coming though this season who we hope can be part of that core for many years to come.”