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Manu Tuilagi signs new Leicester contract

Published 07/12/2015

Ed Slater made his 100th appearance for Leicester recently
Ed Slater made his 100th appearance for Leicester recently

England centre Manu Tuilagi has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract with Leicester.

The 24-year-old was due to be a free agent at the end of this campaign, and he had been linked with the likes of Wasps and Saracens, but the Tigers have now tied him down on a day when four of their players penned new deals.

Tuilagi's England team-mates Ben Youngs and Freddie Burns also agreed fresh terms at Welford Road, as did the club's captain Ed Slater.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said on his club's website: "Manu is a world-class talent and we are delighted that he sees his future with the Tigers.

"We always wanted him to stay and we always believed that he wanted to stay too.

"Manu has had very close connections to the club from a very young age and he is a big part of the Tigers family. The club has been very good to him and he has shown huge loyalty to the club in return in wanting to stay here."

A groin injury is currently keeping Tuilagi sidelined and prevented him from adding to his 25 caps in the recent Rugby World Cup.

He stated that being one of six siblings to represent the Tigers meant the club held a special place in his heart.

"The Tigers has been a big part of my life and following my brothers into the team here was a very proud moment for me," Tuilagi added.

"The club always wants to be successful, the players and coaches set very high standards and we are always looking to improve. It is a great club and I'm very settled here. The club and the supporters have been very good to me."

Prior to confirmation of Tuilagi's deal, the 10-time Premiership champions announced a flurry of contract activity on Monday morning after sealing their fifth win of the season in their sixth league game against Worcester at the weekend.

Scrum-half Youngs, whose brother Tom Youngs is also part of the squad at Welford Road, joined fly-half Burns and lock Slater in pledging his future to the club.

The former, a 52-cap England international, graduated out of Leicester's academy to make his first-team bow in 2007 and in doing so followed in the footsteps of his father Nick Youngs.

Ben Youngs said: "The fact my dad was a Leicester Tigers player and that I can play alongside my brother in the Tigers team here each week is very important to me.

"I've been at the club for a long time and it's a great experience to be involved at a club with that strong family connection."

He was the skipper for much of last season, but that honour is now bestowed on long-serving forward Slater, who made his 100th appearance for Leicester against Bath in November.

Burns, who joined Leicester in the summer of 2014 having accrued over 1,000 points with previous club Gloucester, is yet to feature this term because of a broken jaw.

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