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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 14 August, 2020
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Tuilagi's England career at crossroads as RFU refuses rule change

Monday is the cut-off day for any reconciliation between the Tigers and their England ace.

Tuilagi faces a red card from England unless an agreement is reached.
Tuilagi faces a red card from England unless an agreement is reached.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MANU TUILAGI’S TEST career could be over if the powerhouse England centre opts to move overseas, with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirming on Friday there will be no special treatment for him.

The 29-year-old Samoan-born midfielder is set to leave Premiership club Leicester after failing to agree terms on an amended contract.

Injuries have limited him to 44 Tests, including one for the British and Irish Lions, in an international career dating back to 2011.

France, Japan or the United States, which will be the new home of former England captain Chris Robshaw, could be options.

However, the RFU has confirmed they will not shift from their policy of refusing to select players who move abroad.

“There are no plans to change them,” an RFU source told the BBC.

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Top-flight English clubs have been trying to rebalance their books in response to both the economic impact of the coronavirus and a planned cut in the league’s salary cap.

However, the Daily Telegraph reported today that there is still some hope that a resolution could be found within the next 48 hours.

Monday is the cut-off point for Leicester players to accept the new terms. The Tigers pay Tuilagi around £500,000 per-annum but any player who is forced into a pay cut may have the right to seek compensation from the club. Sources have indicated an 11th hour deal could be struck between the club and the player.

Ireland’s Noel Reid’s Leicester future is also up in the air.

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