Cockerill: Tuilagi going nowhere
September 26, 2011
England's Manu Tuilagi has established himself as one of the most exciting young centres in world rugby © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has insisted that midfield ace Manu Tuilagi will not be leaving Welford Road before the end of his contract.
Tuilagi is currently starring for England in New Zealand and his brother and agent, Fereti, claimed on Monday that his siblings, Manu and Alesana, would both be open to trying their luck in Super Rugby.
Indeed, Fereti claimed that a number of clubs have already expressed an interest in the pair. However, Cockerill is adamant that Manu will not be walking out on his existing deal with the Tigers.
"I wouldn't be surprised by any interest shown in Manu," the Tigers chief is quoted as saying by The Telegraph. "I'd be shocked if people were not interested in him. Teams have shown an interest in Sonny Bill Williams and Ma'a Nonu, so why wouldn't they want someone of Manu's quality? He's a fine young player.
"But he's got a three-year contract with us and will be here, at least, for the remainder of this season and for two more after that. He's not going anywhere."
Cockerill also queried the veracity of Fereti's claim that Manu would be interested in moving to Australia or New Zealand given that the centre has only just broken into the England set-up.
"After all that has gone on around Manu in terms of him fighting to earn the right to qualify for England and to avoid deportation back to Samoa, it seems slightly odd that he would want to leave now," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament