England international, Manu Tuilagi has rejected an offer from French rugby powerhouse, Racing 92 in favour of signing a new deal with Leicester Tigers.
The robust centre had been to France to discuss terms with the Parisians but has since decided to stay loyal to the club with whom he has spent his entire career.
The 27-year-old said on Leicester’s official website,
“This is a massive club and it means a lot to me and my family.” Tuilagi said.
“I love the club and I want to repay the loyalty they have shown me in my time here.
“I’m very passionate about playing my part in bringing back the success we all expect at such a massive club.
“This was a big decision for me to make but I am very happy to be able to stay here, I have a lot of friends here.”
Tuilagi’s head coach at Leicester is former Ireland international, Geordan Murphy and the former full-back has welcomed his star man’s decision to remain at the club that he and his brothers have represented.
The decision also means that Tuilagi will remain an option for England after this year’s World Cup in Japan which will come as great news to England supporters who watched on as Tuilagi dominated Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in last month’s Six Nations clash.
“Manu is a world-class player with a real X-factor about his game and anyone would want him in their team. He’s been here a long time, his heart is here and we’re all delighted that he wants to stay.” Murphy said
“He is at his physical peak as a player at 27, he is a leader within the squad and we look forward to seeing many more big performances from him in a Tigers shirt.”
Tuilagi’s decision follows that of New Zealand pair, Kieran Read and Ryan Crotty who both reportedly turned down big-money contract offers from the French giants in favour of moves to Japan.
With Tuilagi being the most recent international to turn down a big money move to France, the question must be asked. Is the appeal of French rugby waning?