Sharks agree extension with ‘squadfather’ Manu Tuilagi

Imposing centre Tuilagi signs one-year contract extension with the club.

The 31-year-old joined from Leicester in 2020 and has been an integral part of the Sharks squad

Sale Sharks and England star Manu Tuilagi has committed his future to the club by signing a new one-year contract extension.

Tuilagi, who has over 50 England caps and has represented the British and Irish Lions, has been an integral part of the Sharks squad since joining the club from Leicester Tigers in 2020.

He’s been almost ever-present this season as the Sharks have secured a home play-off semi-final for the first time in more than 15 years.

And off the field, the Samoa-born powerhouse has been hailed as the Sharks’ ‘Squadfather’ by Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson, having made a huge impact around Sale’s Carrington training base.

Manu said: “My family and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to stay up North for another year. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Sale so far and we have really settled here in the North West.

“It was an easy decision. I love coming to work every day and I couldn’t ask for a better environment on and off the pitch. We’re so tight as a group, which is why I think we’ve had such a good run this season. There couldn’t be a better time to be a Shark.”

Sanderson was buzzing to have secured Tuilagi’s services for a further season, stressing how important Manu is for the Sharks and rugby as a whole.

He said: “This deal says so much about this club and what we’re building, but it says more about Manu the man. It says so much about what really matters to him and that’s rare in professional sports people.

“Manu is really happy here but I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to stay. For us and for Manu and his family, I think it’s the right decision.

“Manu has been part of winning squads with Leicester and England and this environment is the one he seems to be enjoying and thriving in the most.

“His impact on the squad is huge and he makes everyone around him better, but he’s not one for Churchillian speeches. He does his work with the rest of the squad in those little conversations around the coffee machine. It’s massive for the younger lads.

“But he’s not here to be a cheerleader. On the field we feel like he’s getting better and there’s so much more to come. He’s not content live on past performances and his drive to improve and drag everyone along with him is massive. We’re delighted to have him sticking around.”

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