July 1 – England centre Manu Tuilagi is among six players set to leave Premiership club Leicester Tigers after refusing to sign new contracts on reduced terms in line with the league’s new salary cap rules, British media reported on Wednesday.
Premiership clubs voted last month to reduce the salary cap from the 2021-22 campaign until 2023-2024, with the ceiling for senior players set at 5 million pounds ($6.24 million), down from 6.4 million.
Players have been offered long-term deals on reduced terms with clubs looking to take advantage of a provision that sees only 75% of the wages of a contracted player count towards the revised cap.
Tuilagi, who has been at Leicester since 2009, has declined his new offer and is believed to be seeking legal advice, the BBC reported.
The 29-year-old, who has won 43 caps for England, is set to leave the Tigers along with prop Greg Bateman, Telusa Veainu, Kyle Eastmond and Jordan Taufua, the reports said.
“Difficult decisions have had to be made, including salary reductions, reduced working time and using the furlough scheme. A small number of players will also leave the Tigers to seek new opportunities,” Leicester said in a statement https://www.leicestertigers.com/news/update-from-leicester-tigers.
The Premiership has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Leicester, who are 11th in the standings, said they estimated losing approximately 5 million pounds in revenue. ($1 = 0.8013 pounds) (Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)