Leicester confirm George Ford will leave at the end of this season
Out-of-favour England international George Ford will quit Leicester Tigers at the end of the current season for a move back to the northwest of England. Last week Sale revealed they had spoken to the 28-year-old about the possibility of the out-half joining them and while he had also been linked with a switch to the Top 14, it has now been confirmed he will join the Sharks next season on a three-year deal.
Ford activated a clause in his current contract giving him the freedom to leave Welford Road. A Leicester club statement read: “Leicester Tigers can confirm that George Ford has indicated to the club that he will not be activating an option in his contract to remain beyond the current season.
“The 28-year-old made his senior debut in 2009, while still a member of the Tigers academy, and made 40 senior appearances for the club before leaving to join Bath in 2013. He returned to Leicester in 2017 and has played 73 games during the past four seasons, to total 113 appearances for the club to date.”
Leicester boss Borthwick said: “George has made a personal decision, which he informed us of earlier this week, which means this will be his final season in Leicester. I have had the pleasure of working with him for a number of years, with England and now here at Tigers, and I am grateful to have had that privilege.
“We are fortunate to have the best following in rugby, who have been able to enjoy watching George represent their club for many years and I am sure they will echo me in thanking him for his contribution to Tigers.
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Sale Sharks is delighted to announce the signing of George Ford ahead of the 2?2?-2?3? #GallagherPrem season. ?
— Sale Sharks ? (@SaleSharksRugby) November 17, 2021
“There are still a lot of games to be played in this season and George is fully committed to finishing his time at Leicester Tigers in front of big crowds at Welford Road, which our supporters can be proud of and to share in the success with them.”
Ford added: “It has been the most difficult decision of my career. I am proud and grateful to represent this great club at Leicester and I will give my all for the rest of my time at Tigers.”
Sale boss Alex Sanderson said: “George Ford is world-class, one of the very best fly-halves in the game over the past five years. This season he has probably played the best rugby of his career so we are getting him at the right time.
“I met him twice and we had the chance to show him around the ground and the fact that he’s taken this decision, in the form that he’s in, with Leicester doing so well, tells me that he believes in the ambition of this club, and in the culture that we’re building.
“He’s a northerner and his heart is very much in this area. He’s been away for some years now but he’s coming back to his spiritual home. His family is hugely important to him and I know that his life outside rugby has played a part in this move.
“The exciting thing for me is that he is 28 years old, and he’s coming here in the form of his life. We aspire to be a major force in the Premiership and in Europe too and we’ve got one of the world’s best flay-halves in his pomp.
“It’s massively exciting but not just because of how talented he is. When I’ve spoken to him it’s clear that he wants to help us bring the younger players in our squad on. He has so much desire to lift the people around him and that is the kind of person I want here.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 11, 2021
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