Sale have confirmed that the following seven first team players will leave the club following the conclusion of the 2018-19 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season.
Jonny Leota: He arrived from New Zealand in 2011 and has played 129 games for Sale. He was one half of a formidable centre partnership with Sammy Tuitupou: a forceful player with great tackling, carrying and passing skills.
During the past two seasons, he has developed as a blogster, accurately putting the player angle to his readers. He entered the Sharks’ Supporters Club hall of fame in 2019. A holder of 20 Samoan caps, he will continue playing for Sale FC next season while taking up a player liaison role with the Sharks.
Andrei Ostrikov: ‘Drei’ came in 2011 from Aurillac and has been a second row force ever since. Previously with Agen, he is returning to France to play for Grenoble next season. A ‘gentle giant’ who played basketball before discovering he was better at rugby union, he has played for Russia 27 times. Despite bad luck with injuries, Ostrikov has played 146 games for Sale Sharks, scoring seven tries.
Hugely popular with supporters thanks to his pleasant demeanour, off the field, and forceful play on it, Ostrikov received an award at this year’s supporters’ end of season dinner recognising his outstanding contribution to the club.
PLAYER NEWS | The club can officially announce that six first team players will be leaving #YourSharks at the end of the season.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) May 16, 2019
Alexandru Tarus: The tighthead prop joined the club from Beziers in 2017 and immediately surrounded himself in the Sharks’ ethos, so much so that he received a community award from the cupporters’ club after his first season.
The holder of 33 caps for Romania, Tarus was a popular contributor to social media and developed many friendships throughout Europe. He played 29 times for the Sharks and will be playing for Zebre in the PRO14 next season.
Tom Bristow: He came to Sale last October and has played in 15 matches for the Sharks, coming off the bench on six occasions in the Gallagher Premiership. He came from Narbonne, having played senior rugby for London Welsh, Leicester Tigers and Wasps beforehand.
SEASON FINALE | Sale Sharks v @gloucesterrugby
? Sat 18th May
? KO: 4pm
? @AJBellGroup Stadium
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) April 27, 2019
James Flynn: The Sale-born player has been with the club for seven seasons, amassing 55 appearances after making his debut against London Irish in 2012. Apart from brief loans at Stockport and Sedgley Park, he patiently awaited senior opportunities but was frustrated by injury against Wasps last season. He has been in rehab. most of this campaign and only recently returned to match fitness.
Paolo Odogwu: Signed from Leicester Tigers in 2016, the speedy player impressed by scoring eight tries in three games of sevens rugby. A crowd favourite due to his all-action style moving forward, he scored seven tries in his 29 senior appearances at Sale.
WATCH: John Barclay chats with RugbyPass about the 2019 World Cup, social media, retirement and a potential move abroad after the finals in Japan
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