Sale Sharks have confirmed that Faf de Klerk has signed a long-term contract extension with the club.
De Klerk joined the Sharks at the start of the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season and made an instant impact to the team. His new deal keeps him at the AJ Bell Stadium until 2023.
The 27-year-old made twenty-five appearances for Sale in his first season scoring 97 points, showing exceptional skill and determination which eventually led to a call up to the Springboks squad for the 2018 summer test series against England in South Africa.
Three exceptional performances followed and put the scrum half firmly on the Springbok radar for the Rugby Championship in November, where the South Africans gained a notable victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand.
Ultimately his consistency and impressive show of ability for club and country over the 2017-18 season eventually led to a nomination for World Player of the Year, with the young scrum half losing out to Johnny Sexton at the final hurdle in November this year.
“It’s humbling to know a club wants to extend your contract, even though you still have more than a year left on your current one!
“I would not have re-signed if I did not enjoy it here in the North West and really do believe in what we are trying to achieve here at Sale. I want to thank Dimes and the owners for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what the future holds”, de Klerk said.
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Director of Rugby Steve Diamond added: “I am delighted that Faf has agreed to extend his contract with us. Sale Sharks have had some fantastic players throughout the professional era, there are too many to mention, but Faf is one of a few truly world class players who have been at the club. His ability, attitude and enthusiasm are second to none and are a testament to professional he is.”
Diamond earlier this month exclusively told RugbyPass that he intended to build a large South African contingent at the club, with a current Springbok hooker, prop and lock on their shopping list after next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Diamond told RugyPass: “Faf’s looking to extend for three or four years and so is Jono Ross. There is no chance of Faf going anywhere else and my message to other clubs is simple “ go and find your own players!” The du Preez brothers are doing well having joined us and we will be looking to extend their stay.
“Our recruitment drive is in South Africa at the moment with some of Faf’s mates. We are in intense talks with a prop, hooker and lock to come after the World Cup, They are all current South Africa internationals and we are in a good place.”
Currie Cup winner Rob Du Preez is currently on a three month contract from the Sharks as cover for the injured AJ MacGinty and bother Jean joined on a similar deal to provide extra back row options while Tom Curry was out with an ankle injury. Curry is now back in action but Diamond wants to keep du Preez’s ball carrying ability.
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