- News : President-elect of Bougainville thanks God for win [23/09/2020 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : NZ quarantine ‘totally unnecessary [23/09/2020 - Cook Islands]
- News : Fiji joins global call for multilateralism at UN’s 75th anniversary [23/09/2020 - Fiji]
- Business News : Kina Bank yet to consider Westpac acquisition [23/09/2020 - Papua New Guinea]
- Business News : There is confusion surrounding sale of Hawaiki cable capacity [23/09/2020 - American Samoa]
- News Feature : INTERVIEW: The top diplomat shepherding the General Assembly through its 75th year [23/09/2020 - United States]
- Business News : Advancing fisheries surveillance and enforcement cooperation [21/09/2020 - Solomon Islands]
- News : Minister Masiu confirms citing of 150 PNG nationals in leaked international data base [21/09/2020 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : Mother and son elected in South South Bougainville [21/09/2020 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : James Tanis humbly bows out from Bougainville presidential election [21/09/2020 - Papua New Guinea]
- Business News : ANZ waives online international money transfer fees to Pacific [21/09/2020 - Fiji]
- News : USP saga drags on [21/09/2020 - Fiji]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Sale Sharks are poised to announce the blockbuster signing of England centre Manu Tuilagi this week in a major boost to their title hopes.
Tuilagi was released by Leicester along with four other players after a breakdown in contract talks over taking a permanent paycut. Although the club’s hierarchy left the door open to strike a new deal, Leicester confirmed on Friday that process had run its course, bringing to an end Tuilagi’s 11-year stay in the East Midlands.
There was a gentlemen’s agreement among Premiership clubs not to poach other teams’ England stars over the fraught contract negotiations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. However, Sale believe they are entitled to sign Tuilagi who is effectively a free agent. The Daily Telegraph understands that his contract will extend past the remainder of the present season, which will resume with Sale’s trip to Harlequins on August 14, as well as the 2020/21 campaign.
While Tuilagi had attracted considerable interest from French clubs, he was determined to remain in the Premiership to remain eligible for England selection. Sale, by virtue of their financial backing and their space within the salary cap, were one of just a couple of clubs in a position to sign him.
Last week, director of rugby Steve Diamond publicly denied holding talks with Tuilagi, but he has a long history of signing other clubs’ England cast-offs. Last year, he signed Newcastle flanker Mark Wilson on loan after Newcastle Falcons were relegated to the Championship. Diamond also acted quickly to sign wing Marland Yarde, who had a mid-season falling out at Harlequins, as well as bringing back Chris Ashton and Danny Cipriani from spells overseas.
Tuilagi, however, is a different category of signing; a bonafide world superstar with the profile to put bums on seats and powerful enough to put forwards on their bums. At 29, he is still well within his prime, a fundamental part of Eddie Jones’ attacking plans with England and on course to be a Lions starter in South Africa next year.
Sale, who currently sit second in the table, are already loaded with talent, including England flanker Tom Curry and South African World Cup winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager. The addition of Tuilagi will put them firmly in the title mix alongside Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears. Rival fly-halves will be dreading the prospect of the 34-stone combination of Tuilagi and Rohan Janse van Rensburg thundering down their channel.
The question marks surrounding Tuilagi have always related to his fitness since he missed 15 months with a groin injury sustained in 2014. Since then he has been dogged by recurrences of that issue as well as hamstring and knee injuries. There have been suggestions that some of Leicester’s hierarchy didn't believe he was providing a return on their investment with his reported £500,000 salary, particularly with his long absences with England.
That is a risk that Sale seem happy to accept. Diamond claims that Sale have the lowest injury rate in the Premiership, particularly regarding tissue tears which have long been an issue for Tuilagi.
SOURCE: THE TELEGRAPH.UK/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media