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'Still motivated to perform': Sale sign free agent Jason Woodward

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Ten weeks after Gloucester announced that one-time England prospect Jason Woodward was leaving at the end of the 2021/22 season, Sale Sharks have confirmed their signing on a one-year deal of the former New Zealand U20s player who came through at the Hurricanes.

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Woodward joined Gloucester in 2017 from the relegated Bristol and the full-back went on to play nearly 70 times, even earning a call-up into the senior England squad under Eddie Jones and touring South Africa as an uncapped player in 2018.

It was May 31 when Gloucester stated that Woodward, Will Britton and Jack Stanley would all be departing Kingsholm and the New Zealander has now found sanctuary at Sale, the Manchester club that lost Simon Hammersley through retirement at the end of last season.

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A Sale statement read: “Sale Sharks have signed versatile full-back Jason Woodward on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

“The former Bristol Bears and Gloucester man, who can also play on the wing and in the centre, put pen to paper on Wednesday and will join Alex Sanderson’s squad ahead of their opening pre-season clash against Caldy RFC on August 19.

“Jason signed for Bristol from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes in 2016 before joining Gloucester the following year after Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership. He went on to make made 67 appearances and score 90 points for the Cherry and Whites. The 32-year-old represented New Zealand at U20s level but qualifies for England through his grandmother and was called up by Eddie Jones.”

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Sale boss Alex Sanderson said: “After speaking with Jason it was clear he was still motivated to perform at the highest level and was keen for a move north to join the Sharks. Jason is a proven Premiership performer who will add a great deal of quality and experience to what is a young squad here. He has the ability to play in a number of positions and that is a massive bonus for us with such a busy schedule ahead.”

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