Manu Tuilagi: Leicester warn Toronto Wolfpack off England centre
Last Updated: 07/11/19 8:44pm
Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy has warned Toronto Wolfpack they will be wasting their time trying to sign Manu Tuilagi.
The Canadian outfit are splashing the cash following their promotion to Super League for 2020 and are poised to complete the signing of New Zealand dual-code star Sonny Bill Williams on a two-year deal.
Toronto have also made a play for England centre Tuilagi but Murphy is not expecting the 28-year-old to be tempted to switch codes.
Tuilagi, a key man in England's run to the Rugby World Cup final, rejected a lucrative offer from French side Racing 92 earlier this year to extend his stay with Leicester and Murphy is confident he will reject the latest approach.
"If the Wolfpack want Manu then I am sure they can have a conversation with us," Murphy told BBC Leicester Sport.
"But we don't want Manu leaving. He is world-class and wants to be at Tigers. Manu was offered more money to leave last year when the speculation was around.
"He has a family here. He is settled here and he feels like a Leicester player so I don't think he will be going anywhere, anytime soon."
Toronto are expected to announce the signing of dual-code international Williams on Thursday and will unveil him at a press conference in London next Thursday.
The two-time rugby union World Cup winner, who played his last match for the All Blacks in the bronze medal win over Wales in Tokyo last Friday, has accepted an offer that will make the highest-paid player in the history of either code.
The deal is said to be worth around £4.8m, including a stake in the club as they prepare to float shares on the stock exchange.
Just £150k on his wage will count on the £2.1m Super League salary cap as he takes up one of Toronto's marquee player slots, with the rest covered by the Wolfpack's wealthy owner David Argyle.
Argyle, an Australian mining magnate, has made no secret of his ambition to sign world-class players and believes Williams can have on Super League the sort of impact David Beckham had on the Major Soccer League in North America.