The arrival of Manu Tuilagi at Sale Sharks was only announced on Monday but the England centre has already begun training with his new club ahead of next month’s restart of the suspended 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season.
With Sale due at Harlequins on August 14 to get rugby going again in England following the stoppage for the coronavirus pandemic, Leicester fans should look away now as Sale have shared photos of Tuilagi – Tigers’ former player and crowd favourite – training at the Carrington ground.
Steve Diamond has wasted no time in bleeding the 29-year-old into his new squad as preparations mount for the return to action in a league where they occupy second place, five points behind leaders Exeter whom they will meet in Manchester on the second weekend back.
While Tuilagi’s departure had been expected after his failed contract negotiations with Leicester at the beginning of this month, his move to the AJ Bell Stadium was only announced at the start of his week, ending his eleven-year association with the Tigers.
Although the British and Irish Lions midfielder was one of a number of players who left after refusing to sign a new contract, his departure probably cut the deepest given the fact he had played his entire club career so far at Welford Road.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) July 14, 2020
It also ended the long line of Tuilagis that have worn the green, red and white of Leicester. Having said that, his older brother Andy also played for Sale for three seasons.
The centre joins a Sale side that are tipped to make a strong push during the second half of the Gallagher Premiership season.
Most noticeably, his partnership with the equally sizeable Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the centre is something that has drawn a lot of attention. The arrival of Sam Hill from Exeter Chiefs leaves the Sharks spoilt for choice in the midfield.
Sale had won five of their six league matches in 2020 before the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak and adding a player of the calibre of Tuilagi will only enhance their chances of a successful end to the season.
Manu's goodbye note ? https://t.co/uVquXTXlWj
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 14, 2020
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