England and Lions centre Manu Tuilagi commits future to Leicester

Tuilagi has scored 19 tries in 62 appearances for the club

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The Independent Online

Manu Tuilagi has committed his future to Leicester after signing a new long-term contract with the Aviva Premiership champions.

The England centre, currently in Hong Kong with the British & Irish Lions, has scored 19 tries in 62 appearances for the club since making his mark during the 2010-11 season.

"Manu is a world-class talent and has taken every challenge that has come his way in his stride in the last three years as a senior player," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"We all know what he can do, but he is maturing as a player all the time too which means he is getting better and better with every season.

"He was very proud to have the opportunity to follow his brothers into the Leicester Tigers team.

"Leicester is his home and we're delighted that he has committed his long-term future to the club."

The 22-year-old still had a year left to run on his previous deal but Leicester, who have not disclosed the exact length of the new contract, have moved to secure Tuilagi's future.

The Samoa-born three-quarter secured his first Premiership winners' medal last weekend, scoring a try in Leicester's Twickenham success over Northampton.

Tuilagi, is the fifth member of his family to represent the Tigers, with elder brothers Fereti, Henry, Alesana and Andy also having played for the Welford Road side.

He made an instant impact during his first full season, but missed the 2011 Premiership final after being banned for punching England wing Chris Ashton during the semi-final win against Northampton.

He scored a try as he won the first of his 21 England caps in the pre-World Cup Test against Wales at Twickenham that summer, and was included in Martin Johnson's squad for the tournament in New Zealand.

Tuilagi's performances were one of the few plus points of a miserable England campaign, although off the field he was detained by New Zealand police and fined by England after jumping off a ferry into Auckland Harbour.

He has continued to be England's first choice under Stuart Lancaster, helping the Red Rose to consecutive second-place finishes in the Six Nations before being selected by Warren Gatland for the current Lions party.