Steve Diamond has confirmed the 33-strong Sale squad he intends to finish out the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season with, a roster that sees the departure of 10 players from the Manchester-based club. The Sharks were in second place in the English top-flight when the season ground to a halt in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Now back in training ahead of scheduled August 15 restart, they have since changed a number of their squad in the hope of a successful final push in a campaign that has nine regular-season games and a Premiership Cup final left to play.   

Current England player Mark Wilson is the highest-profile departure, the back row returning to Newcastle following his loan spell at the AJ Bell club. Sale are bolstered, though, by the arrival of Sam Hill from Premiership title rivals Exeter and South African Cobus Weise (subject to a work visa, as reported some weeks ago by RugbyPass). 

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Exeter and England midfielder Henry Slade guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

“The lads have really shown their togetherness in recent times and that has helped everyone at the club adapt and overcome the unique challenges we have faced during the pandemic,” said Diamond in a club statement that listed the 18 forwards and 15 backs who will be at his disposal for the restart.  

“I’m proud of the squad we have built and we all share the same ambition to finish the season as strongly as possible. It has been fantastic to welcome Sam Hill to Carrington this week, along with the imminent arrival of Cobus Weise.

“I’m sure the squad we have put together will push us even closer to achieving our goals. We’re currently planning to run with a 33-player squad, complemented by an exceptionally talented group of senior academy players. 

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“The lads are chomping at the bit to get back to rugby and we’re all looking forward to resuming the season as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The Premiership’s professional game board allowed clubs to progress into stage two of the return to play protocols at the start of this week following the recent uncertain period surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic

SALE’S 2019/20 RESTART SQUAD

Forwards (18)Ross Harrison, Valery Morozov, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Will-Griff John, Akker Van Der Merwe, Curtis Langdon, Cameron Nield, Lood de Jager, Josh Beaumont, James Phillips, Matt Postlethwaite, Cobus Wiese (subject to work visa), Ben Curry, Tom Curry, Jono Ross, Jean-Luc du Preez, Daniel du Preez.

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Backs (15) – Faf de Klerk, Will Cliff, Gus Warr, Kieran Wilkinson, Rob du Preez, AJ MacGinty, Sam James, Luke James, Sam Hill, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Denny Solomona, Marland Yarde, Byron McGuigan, Arron Reed, Simon Hammersley.

Leaving Players (10) – Nic Dolly, Rob Webber, Joe Jones, Bryn Evans, Rouban Birch, Ciaran Booth, Mark Wilson, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Sam Dugdale, Matt Sturgess.

 

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