May 22, 2024

Bayonne signing Manu Tuilagi wants to miss playing for England

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Manu Tuilagi will make his final home appearance for Sale Sharks when they host Leicester Tigers on Friday evening

France-bound Manu Tuilagi has admitted he will miss playing for England but is excited about the team’s future.

The 32-year-old center will leave Sale Sharks at the end of the season and has signed a two-year contract with top 14 side Bayonne.

His 60th cap in England’s loss to France in the Six Nations in March ended a 13-year international career after the Samoa-born star was naturalised.

RFU rules that players who leave the Premier League are not eligible for international selection.

“It’s a difficult game because you still want to play,” Tuilagi told BBC North West Tonight [for England] But I’ve learned that what you want, you won’t always get, and I thought I’d miss it, but now I’ll be a fan.

“The last two games in the Six Nations, Ireland then go to France, to take it all the way – it’s exciting. I’m excited to see the boys continue that growth, and I think there’s a lot of growth in this team. As a fan I’m very excited.” “

Tuilagi’s final home game for sale will be on Friday (19:45 GMT) against Leicester Tigers, the club where he spent the first 11 years of his professional career.

The Sharks are trying to secure a top-four finish in their last two matches, against the Tigers and Saracens, and Tuilagi said “it would be a bonus” if he could leave England as champions.

“For six to eight weeks we’ve said we have to perform every weekend. It’s no different this weekend, as the end of the season approaches.”

“The unknown is the most exciting thing” about signing for Bayonne, Tuilagi said, adding: “It’s something new… I don’t know what it’s going to be like. It’s another part of the journey, I’m excited.”