Despite not yet being officially confirmed by Leicester Tigers, back row star Jordan Taufua is set to join the five other players departing the club after failing to agree a new contract. Club CEO Andrea Pinchen did not include Taufua in a list five players leaving, which included Manu Tuilagi, Noel Reid, Kyle Eastmond, Telusa Veainu and Greg Bateman.
Taufua’s absence from the list had given Tigers’ fans hope that the explosive forward may yet stay put, despite not signing before the crucial club contract deadline on Tuesday.
RugbyPass understands that negotiations had been delayed with Taufua as the New Zealander was stuck in pandemic quarantine, with communications between the player and the club coming to a halt. This has led the club to officially delay the announcement of his exit from Welford Road for the time being.
One source told RugbyPass that there had been no communication between the player and the club in recent weeks, and the club plan to announce his departure following a face to face meeting after he’s exited quarantine.
Taufua is one of the best-paid players at Leicester Tigers, and will be in high demand.
A statement from Leicester Tigers earlier this week confirmed that a ‘small number of players will be leaving’.
“Difficult decisions have had to be made, including salary reductions, reduced working time and using the furlough scheme as well as a redundancy process which concludes today and could potentially lead to the departure of up to 31 members of staff. In addition, a small number of players will leave Tigers to seek new opportunities elsewhere. We wish them well for the future.
“The players were asked to accept reduced wages and, following feedback, we created a mechanism through which a proportion of forgone earnings could be reclaimed when the Club returns to profitability. At the same time, salaries of lower-paid players beginning their professional careers were protected. In common with other Club employees, these changes resulted from detailed explanations of the Club’s financial position and the necessity of the measures being taken.”
Some of the players are reportedly seeking legal advice.
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