The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will not allow Manu Tuilagi to play for England should the centre move abroad. Tuilagi is currently on the hunt for a new club after his departure from Leicester Tigers was confirmed earlier this week.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a number of clubs, both in England and further afield.


However, should Tuilagi move to a club outside the English Premiership, it could spell the end of his England career.

The RFU currently does not allow players based overseas to play for England, and have made it clear that that rule will not be changed or relaxed for any player.

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“The current rules and regulations apply and there are no plans to change them,” an RFU source told the BBC.

There is currently an ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause, but it only comes into effect in the event of a major injury crisis. The overseas-based player rule has been in place since after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Tuilagi was one of six high-profile Leicester players to reject a new cut-price contract with the club.

On Wednesday, Leicester chief executive Andrea Pinchen confirmed that Tuilagi, Kyle Eastmond, Telusa Veaunu, Greg Bateman and Noel Reid were all leaving the club after failing to agree new terms.


The squad had been asked to accept reduced wages by way of new deals, albeit with an inbuilt ‘mechanism through which a proportion of forgone earnings could be reclaimed when the club returns to profitability.’

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