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Telusa Veainu 'absolutely buzzing' to be back in the Premiership

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Telusa Veainu is back in the Premiership three years after quitting Leicester Tigers for France. The Tongan was one of five players who refused to sign contracts that were altered on the back of the pandemic suspension of the 2019/20 season and he walked away from Welford Road along with Manu Tuilagi, Kyle Eastmond, Greg Bateman and Noel Reid.

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It was during his first season in the Top 14 that Veainu reflected on the stance he had taken, reflecting in a RugbyPass interview: “They [Leicester] did what was right for them in terms of the pandemic, and I was doing what I needed to do for my family and to support them and that was the decision I had to make based on that.

“At the time I didn’t really have any options and it was just when things started to break down with Leicester and the news started to be published that Stade heard about it and came through. At the time all the clubs had finished all their signings and I was very fortunate to be picked up by Stade.”

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The irony now is that after all the stress of that high-profile departure from Leicester, Veainu is poised to become a teammate of Tuilagi once more after sealing a one-year deal to link up with Sale, the 2022/23 Premiership finalists.

A statement read: “Sale Sharks have signed experienced Tonga international full-back Telusa Veainu on a one-year deal ahead of the 23/24 Gallagher Premiership season. The versatile 32-year-old, who represented the All Blacks at U20s level and played domestic rugby in Australia, has experience of the Premiership having spent five stellar seasons at Leicester Tigers.

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“During his spell at Welford Road, he scored 32 tries in 79 appearances before joining French Top 14 side Stade Francais in 2020. Now he will join up with Alex Sanderson’s squad for pre-season ahead of the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season.”

Veainu said: “I’m absolutely buzzing, and I can’t wait to come over to Manchester and get started. My wife is English, so we have wanted to move back and this is the perfect opportunity. Manu Tuilagi is one of my closest friends and every time I speak to him, he talks so passionately about the environment at Sale as well as the players and the coaches too.

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“When I watch him play I can tell he loves it there – he is even doing ice baths! That means a lot to me and it tells me that it’s a really good club full of good people.

“The squad is full of really exciting, young back three players who have been carving it up all season, and I can’t wait to work with them to help their development but also feed off their energy. I played with Manu and George Ford at Leicester, and I can’t wait to be on the same pitch as them both again.”

Sale boss Alex Sanderson added: “Telusa was one of the best players in the Premiership while he was at Leicester, so we know we are getting a really good player. But more than that, we know we are getting a brilliant human too, who will make a massive contribution off the pitch and help this young group develop.”

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J
Jon 1 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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