Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keeping Tuilagi a Big Boost to Tigers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keeping Tuilagi a Big Boost to Tigers

Article excerpt

LEICESTER captain Ed Slater insists Manu Tuilagi rejected lucrative approaches from rival clubs after being swept along by the growing sense of anticipation at Welford Road.

Tuilagi has agreed a new threeyear contract reportedly worth upwards of PS425,000 per season, in the process rejecting advances from Wasps, Saracens and Worcester, who were keen to sign one of the most dangerous players in the English game.

Leicester lie third in the Premiership and top their Champions Cup pool, with the summer arrival of assistant coach Aaron Mauger introducing an exciting new dimension to the Tigers' play.

Slater believes Tuilagi's determination to resume playing - he has been out for 14 months with a groin injury - and the changing environment at Welford Road trumped money when it came to settling his future.

"Keeping Manu is a big statement. The club have invested heavily in him and I don't think he's been short-changed," Slater said.

"From his point of view the decision was about what's best for him, and after the year he's had he just wanted to get back to playing rugby. …

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