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Leicester confirm Tuilagi, Noel Reid and three other players have left the club

The once-capped Ireland international joined from Leinster last year.

LEICESTER TIGERS HAVE confirmed that England centre Manu Tuilagi, former Leinster midfielder Noel Reid, Tonga international Telusa Veainu, ex-England centre Kyle Eastmond, and prop Greg Bateman have left the club.

The Premiership club said in a statement that the five players’ employment “has now ended and they will no longer be playing for the club.”

The departure of the quintet had already been widely reported to have left Leicester after rejecting reduced terms on their contracts.

noel-reid Reid joined from Leinster last year. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Leicester had issued a deadline for players to agree salary reductions last week but Tuilagi, Reid, Veainu, Eastmond, and Bateman opted against agreeing.

“The five players were stood down last week after being unable to reach a necessary, amended agreement with the club on their pay, of which all other contracted members of the squad for the period from 1 July 2020, agreed to due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Leicester Tigers,” said the club.

Losing 29-year-old Tuilagi is an obvious blow for Leicester, with the England international having played for the club well over 100 times since his Premiership debut in 2010.

Leicester’s statement today confirms that there will be no u-turn for Tuilagi and the club, with the Samoan native now looking for a new employer ahead of the return of rugby.

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30-year-old Reid joined Leicester from his native Leinster last year and played 19 times in the 2019/20 season as he made starts at inside centre and out-half. However, the once-capped Ireland international has also now left the club.

29-year-old Veainu has already confirmed a move to Top 14 side Stade Français, while former rugby league player Eastmond and 31-year-old Bateman, who has experience across the front row, are searching for new clubs.

Meanwhile, Leicester say they remain in negotiations with powerful Kiwi back row Jordan Taufua.

“Jordan Taufua, who was afforded an extended period of consultation after being quarantined following his return to Leicester from New Zealand, is still in conversations with the club,” said Tigers.

“In line with club policy and out of respect to Taufua regarding this confidential matter, Tigers will not comment on these ongoing discussions.” 

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Murray Kinsella

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