Stade Francais fullback Telusa Veainu has said that he “genuinely wanted to stay” at Leicester Tigers after leaving the club earlier this month. Following the ultimatum handed to Tigers players to sign new contracts with pay cuts, the Tonga international was one of a few squad members that left the club, and has already been picked up by the Parisian outfit.

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In response to his swift exit from Welford Road after five years, the 29-year-old gave his perspective on the recent events on social media over the weekend.

Like the other departing players from the club, he clearly has no ill feelings towards Leicester. 

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“My time as a Leicester Tiger has now come to an end,” he said.

“For a number of reasons it hasn’t quite worked out for me to stay at Leicester. I’m gutted it’s ended like this as I genuinely wanted to stay.

“I am the player I am today because of this club. This is my home away from home. I’ve enjoyed my time here, played alongside some world class players and have made some friends for life.

“I wish nothing but the best for the team, there’s so much talent and potential coming through and I’m excited to see these guys carve up.”

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My time as a Leicester Tiger has now come to an end. For a number of reasons it hasn’t quite worked out for me to stay at Leicester. I’m gutted it’s ended like this as I genuinely wanted to stay. I am the player I am today because of this club. This is my home away from home. I’ve enjoyed my time here, played alongside some world class players and have made some friends for life. Thank you to all the coaches (past and present) and staff for giving me the opportunity and for believing in me. In the end, they made the call that was best for them. I wish nothing but the best for the team, there’s so much talent and potential coming through and I’m excited to see these guys carve up. Last but definitely not least, the loyal Leicester fans. Thank you for your continuous support throughout my time here and for making me feel so welcome. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing in front of you all. Thanks again, T ?? #2238 ? @eoin_mcveigh

A post shared by Telusa Veainu (@telusa_veainu) on

Veainu also thanked the coaches and fans for their support during his time in the Midlands.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances of his departure, Veainu is still a popular figure amongst supporters having been arguably the Tigers’ best player over the past five years since he arrived from the Melbourne Rivals. 

The fullback left alongside Manu Tuilagiwho has signed for Sale Sharks – Greg Bateman, Kyle Eastmond and Noel Reid, which will leaves Steve Borthwick with some gaping holes in his squad, particularly across the back line.

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Meanwhile, Veainu will be preparing for the new Top 14 season which is set to start in September. 

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