Sale Sharks can confirm that England and British and Irish Lions centre Manu Tuilagi will leave the club at the end of the current season. 

The 32-year-old, who won his 60th England cap in the final game of the recent 2024 Guinness Six Nations, joined Sharks from Leicester Tigers in 2020. 

Manu has gone on to make 40 appearances in a Sharks shirt, scoring three tries, and was a key part of the side that reached the Gallagher Premiership final in 2022/23. 

Manu said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time at Sale. It was a really tough conversation with Al, and a tough decision for everyone because my family and I have been really happy here.  

“I never thought I’d leave Leicester and it was a big move, but since arriving here I’ve grown a lot as a person. I’ve developed as a player but more so as a person. 

“The environment at Sale is amazing. It’s what makes me want to get out of bed and put the work in, and I genuinely love coming in every day. 

“If I’ve helped the young players then that’s great, but they’ve helped me so much too and I’m going to miss them all. 

“The mindset from the start of the season was to win the Premiership and that’s what we’re all focused on now. Knowing it’s my last season here will give me an extra push to make sure I leave on a high.” 

Alex said: “We talked about what was best for the club and what was best for Manu and his family, and we had to make a tough decision. But it’s still a wrench and really tough for me to accept that he’s going. 

“He is one of the world’s best players, and one of the world’s best blokes. There are very few people who can do what he can on the field. As a player he’s every bit as good as I thought he was before I came here, but as a person he continues to surprise and inspire me to be better. 

“His outlook on life is incredible and he’s so forgiving of things that don’t go his way. That creates a relaxed environment around him and that impacts everyone. We’ll miss him massively on the field, but the void he leaves off it will be harder to fill. 

“His smile is the same whether he’s running onto the field ready to smash someone, or sitting opposite you having a glass of wine, and I’m really going to miss that.” 

Manu began his rugby career in the Tigers academy, following in his older brother Anitelea’s (Andy’s) footsteps. Andy also played three seasons for Sale Sharks between 2008 and 2011. 

He made the switch to the North-West on an initial one-year deal but in September 2020 a serious achilles injury in just his eighth game for the Sharks ruled the Samoa-born centre out for eight months. 

Manu returned from the injury in May 2021 and was named in the updated England squad for their 2021 summer tests against the USA and Canada.  

Manu was selected in the England squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and played in every game, apart from the win against Chile. 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to wish Manu and his family all the best for the future.

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