Leicester Tigers have confirmed England centre Manu Tuilagi has left the Gallagher Premiership club after opting not to sign a new contract on reduced terms in line with the league’s revised salary cap rules.
Tuilagi is one of five players to have departed, alongside Kyle Eastmond, Telusa Veainu, Greg Batemen and Noel Reid, Leicester CEO Andrea Pinchen said in a video posted on the club website on Wednesday.
“Our fans deserve to know,” Pinchen said. “There’s no blame game here, this is people we’re talking about.
“Everyone has their own circumstances and own thoughts about what they can or can’t do, or will or won’t do. What’s vital now is that we have a squad that’s all on board, believes in what we’re doing and starts to push forward.
“If some couldn’t, then we shake them by the hand and wish them well for the next chapter.”
Clubs voted last month to reduce the salary cap from the 2021-22 campaign until 2023-24, with the ceiling for senior players set at £5 million, down from £6.4m, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Players were 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.
Leicester have said they estimated losing approximately £5m in revenue due to disruptions caused by the global outbreak.