Tuilagi to boost Sale Sharks midfield

England centre Manu Tuilagi could form a powerful combination with Rohan Janse van Rensburg after joining the Sale Sharks for the 2020-21 season.

The 29-year-old has officially agreed to join the Manchester-based club after being released from his contract with the Leicester Tigers last week.

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Weighing in at 110kg, Tuilagi could potentially form a frightening and destructive centre partnership with 109kg South African midfielder Janse van Rensburg next season.

‘Manu will be a fantastic commercial and playing addition to our squad,’ Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond said.

‘We contacted Manu’s agent and Leicester Tigers last week to discuss the player’s current position. After discussions on Friday, all parties – Leicester Tigers, Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks – agreed that the player was a free agent and was able to enter into negotiations with another club.

‘I am looking forward to seeing him join up with the lads at Carrington this week.’

Tuilagi had a year left on his contract with the Leicester Tigers and was linked with a move to France – which would have ended his Test career due to England’s policy on selecting overseas-based players – but the Sharks were able to secure his signature in a cut-price deal after he refused to sign an amended extension with the Tigers.

He will be the second of his legendary family to play for the club after his older brother Andy spent three seasons at the Sharks between 2008 and 2011.

The Sale Sharks were sitting in second place in the English Premiership before the 2019-20 season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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