Sale Sharks have announced that Manu Tuilagi has agreed to extend his stay at the AJ Bell Stadium, signing a new two-year contract. Tuilagi joined Sale on a short-term deal in July 2020, but has now committed his future to the club, putting pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Sale until the end of 2022/23 season.
Tuilagi joined Sale following his high-profile exit from Leicester Tigers last year. The 29-year-old British and Irish Lion also has 43 England caps to his name.
Tuilagi, who is currently working his way back to full fitness following a serious achilles injury sustained last November, said it was an easy decision to sign up again with the club.
“I feel incredibly grateful to have the chance to stay here for another two years,” Tuilagi said.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, and my family have really enjoyed living up here in the North West. My little boy is a proper northerner now. We feel very blessed.
“The boys here at Sale are fantastic and the environment that the coaches and staff have created is so good for me both on and off the field. We’re going in the right direction and it’s a really exciting time to be involved with the club. I can’t wait to get back on the field as soon as possible so I can help the boys.”
Tuilagi also discussed some of the new hobbies he’s picked up while rehabbing during lockdown.
“I’ve spent most of lockdown doing my rehab but there’s always some jobs to do in the house or the garden, especially now we’re staying here.
“I love making coffee and making that pattern as perfect as possible. And as part of my rehab I’ve been doing salsa lessons. It’s a bit different but we wanted to keep rehab exciting so that I wasn’t just stuck in the gym doing calf raises all day. So we got someone in to teach me and I’ve really enjoyed it. I love it but there’s no chance I’ll be going on Strictly.”
And after spending the last few months on the sidelines, the centre is hoping to be back on the pitch soon.
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“The lads have done really well on the pitch while I’ve been out injured. I’ve been watching every game and they’ve performed brilliantly. The Champions Cup quarter-final was a big step for us and we played well but La Rochelle were too good on the day.
“Now we’re focused on the next game and making sure we’re in that top four. It’s a really exciting time to play for Sale Sharks and I can’t wait to get back to help the boys.”
Sale’s Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson praised the influence Tuilagi has had off the field while out injured.
“In terms of the environment, he’s the glue in the squad, not just for the senior lads but for the younger lads too,” Sanderson said.
“He brings them into the mix so they can feel part of the team and the club and the culture that we’re building here.
“He’s so humble for a man who’s achieved as much as he has, so to have him involved is fantastic for the club and the organisation off the field as much as it is on the field. His actions and quality on the field speak for themselves.
“There’s no ceiling to what he can do here. And we don’t want to put any limits on him. We just need to get him fit, make sure he’s confident and happy and watch him go.
“Learning salsa was brilliant for his rehabilitation. Now he’s addicted to it. He did a performance in front of the lads and he said he didn’t sleep the night before. And he makes a great coffee.”
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