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Sale statement: Alex Sanderson contract extension

By Liam Heagney
Alex Sanderson (left) with Manu Tuilagi on Friday night at Sale (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Sale celebrated Friday night’s Gallagher Premiership win over Leicester by confirming post-game that Alex Sanderson has signed a three-year contract extension as the club’s director of rugby.

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The Sharks’ 31-22 success against the Tigers lifted the Manchester outfit into third in the table with one regular season match remaining.

That keeps them in the hunt to reach the Premiership final for the second successive year and the good work of Sanderson has been rewarded with a deal that will see the boss remain at Sale until the summer of 2027.

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A statement read: “Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson has pledged his long-term future to his boyhood club by agreeing a new three-year contract.

“The 44-year-old, who played his junior rugby at Littleborough before going onto Preston Grasshoppers, began his professional career at Sharks in 1998.

Attack

165
Passes
133
124
Ball Carries
100
160m
Post Contact Metres
133m
11
Line Breaks
7

“He went on to make 90 appearances for the club, with his leadership qualities earning him the club captaincy at the age of just 20.

“Alex received his first England call-up in 2001 and was part of a wider squad initially named ahead of the 2003 World Cup in Australia, although he missed out when the squad was cut from 35 to 33.

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“A short spell at Saracens followed but a serious back injury forced him to retire at the age of just 26. Alex joined Mark McCall’s coaching team at Saracens and took charge of the forwards and the defence as the club won five Premiership titles and three European Cups.

“He returned home to Manchester in January 2021 and made an immediate impact as his Sharks side secured a place in the end of season play-offs. The following year, Alex led his team to a first appearance in the Premiership final for 17 years.”

Sanderson said: “I love it here and there are so many reasons to want to stay for at least three more years and build on what we have already achieved.

“The group that I have grown to know and love is a group that I want to spend time with. I feel like we are just getting to know each other better and when you build that trust, things start to fire on the pitch.

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“The ambitions of the club are aligned with my own. Our ambitions have grown given the taste we had and how close we got last season.

“That is not enough for us and collectively, from the owners down, we are pulling towards greatness. I really believe we can create a powerhouse in the north and a lasting legacy, and that comes down to the passion we all share.

“I’m also a proud northerner and to be able to coach and live in this part of the world, where I come from, is reason to get up in the morning.

“It’s an exciting time for everyone at the club and we have still got everything to play for this season. We have got four weeks to win it all when four weeks ago no one gave us a chance. That is driving me.”

Sharks CEO Paul Smith added: “As a proud northerner and a former club captain, Alex embodies everything we want to be as a club and we have no doubt at all that he is the man to drive us forward to achieve what we all believe we can.

“Since he arrived here three years ago, he has created a team and a culture that everyone has bought into. There was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted Alex to stay and I’m so excited that he is staying to continue building on what he has started.”

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Comments

1 Comment
j
john 62 days ago

Alex Sanderson fantastic coach and person .So pleased he has signed another contract great days ahead for Sale under his leadership.

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