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Manu Tuilagi has signed for Sale Sharks after becoming a free agent.

Sale announced the news in a statement this afternoon.

"We contacted Manu’s agent and Leicester Tigers last week to discuss the player’s current position. After discussions on Friday, all parties – Leicester Tigers, Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks – agreed that the player was a free agent and was able to enter into negotiations with another club," said Steve Diamond, Sales Director of Rugby.

"Manu will be a fantastic commercial and playing addition to our squad and I am looking forward to seeing him join up with the lads at Carrington this week."

The England centre was one of six players to have missed the deadline imposed by Leicester to agree to a reduced wage package. The cut was introduced by Leicester in response to the financial implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

Manu Tuilagi

The 29-year-old has been capped for England on 43 occasions and has represented them at a number of World Cups.

His deal with the Sharks will run until the end of the 2020/2021.

There had been speculation that his leaving Leicester might end his England career. Due to his high salary, some had questioned whether another English team could afford to take Tuilagi on.

With his switch to Sale, this speculation has ended and he looks set to remain involved with England in the future.

Manu Tuilagi

Tuilagi's actions on the rugby field have been questioned in the past. In March he was involved in a high tackle on George North that was described as reckless in some quarters.

However, there is no denying the England centre's quality on the pitch, and his acquisition by Sale will bolster their squad moving forward.

With the Gallagher Premiership set to resume on August 14th, Tuilagi's physicality will be required for the Sharks during a schedule filled with a fixture every three days.

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Alan Quinlan England Leicester Tigers Manu Tuilagi Rugby Rugby World Cup Sale Sharks

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