Sale sign Fiji’s Nayacalevu to add to speculation over Tuilagi future

Sale Sharks have signed Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu ahead of next season, adding to speculation that Manu Tuilagi may be leaving the club.

The 33-year-old will arrive from Toulon in the Top 14, the league the England centre has been linked with a move to.

The Fijian has been with Toulon since 2022 having previously spent a decade with Stade Francais.

The centre captained Fiji to a World Cup quarter-final last year, where they lost to Tuilagi’s England in Marseille, with the current Sale man scoring a try.

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After signing, Nayacalevu said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England.

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team.

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester.

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.”

Tuilagi has held talks with Montpellier and Bayonne in the Top 14, but refused to get drawn into the speculation ahead of England’s final Guinness Six Nations contest against France.

The 32-year-old has been named on the bench to face Les Bleus, his first appearance of the Championship and potentially his last in an England jersey.

When questioned about his future, he said: “The plan is to hopefully get on the pitch on Saturday. I don’t really know what I am doing tomorrow to be fair!

“For me representing England and getting opportunity is a blessing and I can’t wait. Every time I get to represent England it could be the last game.

“Every game could be your last game, so you have got to make the most of it and enjoy it.”


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