Sale Sharks is a professional rugby union club from Greater Manchester, England. They play in Premiership Rugby, and have been in England's top division of rugby union continuously since 1995. Originally founded in 1861 as Sale Football Club (now a distinct amateur club), they are one of the oldest existing football clubs.[a] They adopted the nickname Sharks in 1999.

Sale Sharks
Full nameSale Sharks Rugby Union Football Club
UnionCheshire RFU
Founded1861; 163 years ago (1861)
(as "Sale Football Club")
1999; 25 years ago (1999)
(as "Sale Sharks")
LocationBarton-upon-Irwell, Salford, England
Ground(s)Salford Community Stadium (Capacity: 12,000[1])
ChairmanFran Cotton
CEOPaul Smith
Director of RugbyAlex Sanderson
Coach(es)Paul Deacon
Captain(s)Ben Curry
Most capsMark Cueto (219)
Top scorerCharlie Hodgson (1,872)
Most triesMark Cueto (90)
League(s)Premiership Rugby
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Since 2012 Sale have played their home games at the A.J. Bell Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell, Salford. Between 1905 and 2003 they played at Heywood Road in Sale, before moving to Edgeley Park in Stockport where they stayed until 2012. Historically one of the leading clubs in the North of England, their traditional colours are blue and white.

Domestically, Sale were Premiership champions in 2005–06 and runners up in 2001-02 and 2022-23. They won the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019-20 and were losing finalists in its predecessor the Anglo-Welsh cup in 2012-13. They also won the second division in 1994 to secure promotion to the Premiership. Internationally, the club won the second tier European Rugby Challenge Cup in 2001–02 and 2004–05.

In the 2022–23 Premiership Rugby season Sale finished second in the regular season and second overall after they lost in the play-off final to Saracens F.C. Their position entitled them to compete in the first tier 2023–24 European Rugby Champions Cup. The Director of Rugby is Alex Sanderson who was appointed in January 2021 following the departure of long-term manager Steve Diamond in December 2020.[2]

History edit

1861–1990s edit

The club was founded in 1861 and is one of the oldest clubs in English rugby. Throughout their history they have been one of the leading rugby union clubs in the North of England. Sale moved into Heywood Road in 1905 and would remain there until 2003.[3]

Sale were unbeaten in 26 matches, winning 24 and drawing two in 1911.

Although Pat Davies is counted as Sale's first international, having been picked to play for England in 1927, it was G.A.M. Isherwood who was Sale's first representative in an international Test match,[4] when he played in all three tests of the 1910 British tour to South Africa at scrum-half.[5] The club has consistently provided international players and, during the 1930s, had one of its most dominant periods, fielding players of the calibre of Hal Sever (England), Claude Davey and Wilf Wooller (Wales) and Ken Fyfe (Scotland). It came as little surprise when they took out the 1936 Middlesex Sevens.

Sale ruled the roost in county cup rugby for 15 straight seasons as they went unbeaten from 1972 to 1987 in every one of those cup fixtures. During this period, Sale competed for the chance to be English club champions. In their first year, one after the inaugural competition kicked off in 1971, they made the semi-finals only to lose to eventual winners Coventry 35–6.

Professional era edit

During the nineties, despite thrilling displays under Paul Turner, and his successor John Mitchell, both club and ground struggled to keep a grip on the demanding commercial and financial realities of running a professional rugby club.

Sale took 20,000 fans to Twickenham for the 1997 Pilkington Cup Final but Leicester won a mistake-ridden match 9–3. This interest quickly faded and the anticipated increased crowds never materialised and relegation from the Premier Division loomed until rugby union-playing local businessman Brian Kennedy came to the rescue late in the 1999–2000 season. Since then, the club has been on a sound financial footing.

Off the field, Peter Deakin was recruited from Warrington Wolves rugby league as chief executive to employ the skills he had used with the Bradford Bulls and Saracens and he made an immediate impact in raising the club's profile until hit by the serious illness which claimed his life in February 2003.

Success was not immediate; Sale Sharks finished eleventh and tenth in the 12-strong Premiership table in the first two years of the new Millennium. It took the coaching partnership of two former Sale players, Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond, to produce a team that were 2002 runners-up and qualified for the Heineken Cup.

Player signings matched the elevated profile of the club. Scotland skipper Bryan Redpath was joined by Stuart Pinkerton, Barry Stewart, Graeme Bond, Jason White and Andrew Sheridan. The club then turned to the wealth of talent, hitherto largely untapped, in rugby league. Apollo Perelini, known as "The Terminator" for his uncompromising style, joined Sale Sharks the day after helping St. Helens to victory in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford and the media had a field day when Jason Robinson, possibly the most exciting wing in the world in either code, moved to Sale from Wigan Warriors.

In 2002 the team also went on to capture the European Challenge Cup at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, defeating Pontypridd 25–22.

The latter Mallinder days saw the club at Twickenham again in 2004, losing narrowly to the Falcons in the Powergen Cup Final. In the summer of 2004 Jim Mallinder left Sale to take up a position in the RFU's National Academy. Following Mallinder's departure Sale appointed former French international Philippe Saint-André who had recently been turned down for the vacant position as coach of Wales. However, with a new influx of players including French internationals Sébastien Bruno and Sébastien Chabal helped Saint-André and Sale win the 2005 European Challenge Cup again at Oxford, this time 27–3 against Pau, for the second time in three years.

2005–06 season: Champions edit

New additions to the squad for the 2005–06 season included French prop Lionel Faure, Samoan back Elvis Seveali'i and Welsh number eight Nathan Bonner-Evans.[6] Building on their European Challenge Cup success, Sale won 16 games out of 22 to finish two games clear at the top of the table. In the semi-final against London Wasps, they won 22–12. They won the 2006 Premiership title with a 45–20 win against Leicester Tigers.[7]

2006–2009 edit

After the success of the 2005–06 season many at the club had hoped for a repeat. However an injury crisis struck. More and more injuries were picked up over the following months until Sale were left with only 17 of a 38-man squad fit to play in their final Heineken Cup match against Ospreys.[8]

In 2007–08, it was World Cup year so the club was without some of their big names. Sale appointed James Jennings as the new chief executive and Dean Schofield as the new captain. Sale had signed good players including Luke McAlister from the Blues in New Zealand. The season was up and down. Successes included; beating Leicester Tigers home and away for the first time. However, the low points were not qualifying for the semi-finals in the Premiership or win a trophy.[8]

On 19 August 2008, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe was announced as the captain for the new season, replacing Jason White who was still recovering from an injury. A new Premiership record of four games without leaking a try was set at the start of the season,[citation needed] these games were Newcastle (A), Saracens (H), Bristol (A) and Gloucester (H). Sale was knocked out of the European Cup in the group stages. Despite earning a win over Clermont, a defeat at home to Munster, a defeat to Montauban and Munster beating The Sharks in Ireland led to an exit. Charlie Hodgson was voted the player of the year at the club's end-of-season awards on Thursday 30 April 2009.

Philippe Saint-André stepped down from his position as Director of Rugby at the end of the 2008–09 season. Along with the departure of Saint-André, a number of key players announced that their time at Sale was up. Captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and cult figure Sébastien Chabal all bade farewell to the club at the end of the season.[9][10]

2009–2013: Near relegation edit

Sale Sharks and Oyonnax at Stade Charles-Mathon, 2013

For the 2009–10 season, Kingsley Jones was promoted from Head Coach to Director of Rugby; former Sale winger Jason Robinson became head coach.[11] Sale had a disappointing 2009–10 season, finishing 11th in the Premiership and only securing safety from relegation on the penultimate weekend of the season. Sale's Heineken Cup campaign also ended in disappointment. The highlights of the campaign were a 27–26 win at home to Cardiff and wins home and away against Harlequins.

There were changes made in the coaching staff. Keith-Roach stepped down from his duties after deciding he could not commit to a full-time role.[12] Robinson, who originally had no intentions to coach but responded to the club's request for help,[12] left the club.[13] Former All Black forward Mike Brewer replaced Robinson as head coach, while Jones remained as Director of Rugby.[13] In December 2010, after only eight months in the role, Brewer was sacked as head coach. Academy coach Pete Anglesea took over as first team coach on a temporary basis until the end of the season, leading Sale to a 10th-placed finish.

In the 2011–12 pre-season, former player Steve Diamond was announced as chairman. Immediately, an overhaul of the playing and coaching staff began, dubbed "Diamond's Revolution".[14][15][16] Sale started the season well, but form faltered towards the latter half of the campaign, and Tony Hanks was fired as head coach after a defeat to Saracens.[17] At the close of the season, Sale beat Gloucester and Bath to sixth place in the Premiership, meaning that they qualified for Heineken Cup in the 2012–13 season.

During the summer of 2012, Sale moved from Edgeley Park, their home since 2003, to the newly constructed Salford City Stadium (now renamed AJ Bell Stadium), to share with the Salford City Reds. Bryan Redpath was confirmed as the director of rugby ahead of the 2012-13 season, however after their worst ever start to a season losing their opening seven league games, Redpath was removed as DOR.[18] John Mitchell was briefly in charge for a month [19]

2012–2020: Steve Diamond era edit

Sale had a disappointing 2012–13 season at their new stadium, spending most of the season in the relegation place before finishing 10th overall. Mark Cueto over took former Sale teammate Steve Hanley, as top try scorer in the premiership, with his 76th try.[20] Their first win of the season was against Cardiff Blues in the Heineken Cup,[21] which was their only win in that year's Heineken Cup, where they finished bottom of their pool.[22][23] In the LV Cup in the knock-out stages, they beat Saracens in the semi-final, but lost in the final to Harlequins 14–31.

The 2013-14 season showed a huge improvement from the season before. Sale finished the season in sixth place, missing out on a place on the play-off competition, but managed to secure qualification to the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup. They also managed to reach the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup, where they lost to Northampton Saints.[24] Sale's successes in the season prompted England national team head coach Stuart Lancaster to call up six Sale players in to the squad to play in the summer tour.[25][26]

For the 2014–15 season, the Sharks finished in seventh in the Aviva Premiership, while they finished bottom of their pool in the European Rugby Champions Cup, having pushed Munster, Saracens & Clermont Auvergne all the way at the AJ Bell Stadium. The standout players for this campaign were academy prospects Mike Haley and Josh Beaumont who became first team regulars, and Josh was called up for the England squad for the England XV which played the Barbarians in May, and scored a try.

From the 2015-16 to the 2019-2020 seasons Sale were regular mid-table finishers. With fifth being their highest finish and tenth their lowest in this period.

The club was taken over in June 2016 by an investment group led by Simon Orange.[27]

Notable signings: Rob Webber, AJ MacGinty, Mike Phillips and Byron McGuigan.
Finished 10th in the premiership.
Notable leavers: Mike Phillips, Sam Tuitupou, Peter Stringer and Eifion Lewis-Roberts.

Notable signings: Faf de Klerk, Jono Ross, James O'Connor, Marland Yarde and the return of Will Cliff.
Finished 8th in the premiership.
Notable leavers: Mike Haley, Will Addison and David Seymour.

Notable signings: Chris Ashton and Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Finished 7th in the premiership.
Notable leavers: Johnny Leota and James O'Connor.

Notable signings: South Africans Rob du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Dan du Preez, Lood de Jager, Akker van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen.
Finished 5th in the premiership.
Notable leavers: Chris Ashton, Rob Webber and Bryn Evans.

Notable signings: Manu Tuilagi.

In December 2020, Steve Diamond left the club due to family matters. He left three matches into the 2020–21 Premiership season with the team having won two of those games. Commenting on his time with Sale, Diamond said: “I built with Simon (Orange) and Ged (Mason) a fantastic management team, a great club, really solid foundations and I thought if there was a time for me to step aside and let the other people come through that was the best time."

2021–Present: The Alex Sanderson era edit

In January 2021, Sale confirmed that Saracens forward coach Alex Sanderson took over the role of Director of Rugby at the club. The 41-year-old started his senior playing career at Sale Sharks in 1998, after playing junior rugby at local club Littleborough. He went on to make 90 appearances for the club, with his leadership qualities earning him the club captaincy. Alex was quoted saying "I'm joining a club I know all about from my time here, but things have moved on massively since those days and the opportunity to come back home and achieve something special was just too good to turn down,".[28]

The Sharks finished 3rd in the Gallagher Premiership. A semi-final tie away at Exeter Chiefs resulted in a 40 – 30 loss. In the Heineken Champions Cup after finishing Pool A 8th with one point, Sale went on to beat Scarlets away 57 – 14 in the round of 16 setting up a last-eight away tie at La Rochelle resulting in a 45 – 21 defeat. That season saw academy prospects Sam Dugdale, Bevan Rodd, Arron Reed and Raffi Quirke all become first-team regulars.

Notable signings: Nick Schonert and the return of Tommy Taylor and Simon McIntyre.
The team struggled in the first half of the season, which was Sanderson's first full season in charge. Results picked up in the new year but Sale narrowly missed out on the top 4 by 5 points, having to settle for a 6th place finish.
For the second season in a row they were defeated by French opposition in the Champions Cup quarter final losing 41-22 to Racing Metro despite leading 10-6 at halftime.
Notable leavers: Faf De Klerk, Lood de Jager, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, AJ Macginty, Cameron Neild and Curtis Langdon.

Notable signings: George Ford, Jonny Hill and Tom O'Flaherty.
The season started with five consecutive league wins and the good form continued, with Sale remaining in 2nd position for the remainder of the season.
The club would then beat Leicester in their first home playoff semi-final since 2006.
In the final Sale were leading 25-23 with 15 minutes remaining, but conceded two late tries resulting in Saracens winning 35-25.[29]
Notable leavers: Will Cliff, Jono Ross, Byron McGuigan, Akker van der Merwe, Coenie Oosthuizen and Ewan Ashman.

Notable signings: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Agustín Creevy, Ernst van Rhyn and Sam Bedlow.
After 1/3rd of the league season Sale topped the table with 5 wins and 1 loss.

Kits edit

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors
Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor (chest)
1998 - 1999 Cotton Traders First Software
1999 - 2000 Cotton Traders Cotton Traders
2000 - 2006 Cotton Traders AMD
2006 - 2009 Cotton Traders McAfee
2009 - 2011 Cotton Traders UKFast
2011 - 2012 Cotton Traders mbna
2012 - 2013 Canterbury mbna
2013 - 2016 Samurai mbna
2016 - 2019 Samurai UKFast
2019 - 2021 Samurai VCode
2021 - Present Macron AO

Current kit edit

The kit is supplied by Macron, the Italian technical sportswear firm will produce match day and training kit, leisurewear and accessories for the men's, women's and academy sides for the next six years. Macron will also become the clubs official retail partner.

"Featuring the traditional stripes that proved such a fans’ favourite in years gone by, the new home shirt is a modern take on the kit worn by the Sharks when they lifted the Premiership trophy 15 years ago. The club's famous navy blue is teamed with Macron's royal blue and white to create a contemporary design laden with northern charm and Shark pride.

The away kit sees a return to the predominantly white colourway, but this time with a stylish grey and black camo twist on the chest section and shorts.

The 2021/22 kits celebrate the team, the community and the family that makes Sale Sharks unstoppable. That sense of community is celebrated with the ‘Fabric of the North’ kit release campaign, which features some of the Sharks Family wearing the kit at iconic north west locations."

Season summaries edit

Premiership Domestic Cup European Cup
Season Competition Final Position Points Play-offs Competition Performance Competition Performance
1987–88 Courage League Division 1 12th (R) 11 N/A John Player Cup Quarter-final No competition N/A
1988–89 Courage League Division 2 4th 12 Pilkington Cup 2nd round
1989–90 Courage League Division 2 9th 8 Pilkington Cup 4th round
1990–91 Courage League Division 2 7th 11 Pilkington Cup 3rd round
1991–92 Courage League Division 2 8th 10 Pilkington Cup 4th round
1992–93 Courage League Division 2 5th 15 Pilkington Cup 3rd round
1993–94 Courage League Division 2 1st (P) 28 Pilkington Cup Quarter-final
1994–95 Courage League Division 1 4th 16 Pilkington Cup Quarter-final
1995–96 Courage League Division 1 5th 19 Pilkington Cup 4th round No English teams N/A
1996–97 Courage League Division 1 5th 28 Pilkington Cup Runners-up Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
1997–98 Premiership 7th 22 Tetley's Bitter Cup Semi-final Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
C&G Cup Semi-final
1998–99 Premiership 11th 19 Tetley's Bitter Cup 4th round No English teams N/A
C&G Cup Semi-final
1999–00 Premiership 11th 18 Tetley's Bitter Cup 5th round Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
2000–01 Premiership 10th 43 Tetley's Bitter Cup Semi-final Challenge Cup 2nd in pool
2001–02 Premiership 2nd 69 Powergen Cup 6th round Challenge Cup Champions
2002–03 Premiership 4th 62 Powergen Cup 6th round Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2003–04 Premiership 7th 53 Powergen Cup Runners-up Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2004–05 Premiership 3rd 60 Semi-final Powergen Cup Quarter-final Challenge Cup Champions
2005–06 Premiership 1st 74 Champions Powergen Cup 3rd in pool Heineken Cup Quarter-final
2006–07 Premiership 10th 42 EDF Energy Cup Semi-final Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2007–08 Premiership 5th 63 EDF Energy Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup Semi-final
2008–09 Premiership 5th 61 EDF Energy Cup 4th in pool Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
2009–10 Premiership 11th 32 LV= Cup 3rd in pool Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2010–11 Premiership 10th 32 LV= Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup 2nd in pool
2011–12 Premiership 6th 49 LV= Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup 2nd in pool
2012–13 Premiership 10th 35 LV= Cup Runners-up Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2013–14 Premiership 6th 57 LV= Cup 2nd in pool Challenge Cup Quarter-final
2014–15 Premiership 7th 54 LV= Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup 4th in pool
2015–16 Premiership 6th 58 No competition N/A Challenge Cup Quarter-final
2016–17 Premiership 10th 40 Anglo-Welsh Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup 4th in pool
2017–18 Premiership 8th 54 Anglo-Welsh Cup 3rd in pool Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
2018–19 Premiership 7th 55 Premiership Cup 3rd in pool Challenge Cup Semi-final
2019–20 Premiership 5th 64 Premiership Cup Champions Champions Cup 4th in pool
2020–21 Premiership 3rd 74 Semi-final No competition N/A Champions Cup Quarter-final
2021-22 Premiership 6th 70 Premiership Cup 4th in pool Champions Cup Quarter-final
2022-23 Premiership 2nd 69 Finalist Premiership Cup Semi-final Champions Cup 10th in pool Challenge Cup round of 16

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runners-up
Pink background denotes relegated

Club honours edit

Sale Sharks edit

Sale Jets Reserves edit

Sevens edit

Current squad edit

The Sale Sharks squad for the 2023–24 season is:[32] [33]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Ethan Caine Hooker   England
Luke Cowan-Dickie Hooker   England
Agustin Creevy Hooker   Argentina
Tommy Taylor Hooker   England
Harry Thompson Hooker   England
Patreece Bell Prop   England
Callum Ford Prop   England
James Harper Prop   England
Ross Harrison Prop   England
Simon McIntyre Prop   England
Tumy Onasanya Prop   England
Asher Opoku-Fordjour Prop   England
Bevan Rodd Prop   England
Hyron Andrews Lock   South Africa
Ben Bamber Lock   England
Rouban Birch Lock   England
Ellis Causey Lock   England
Alex Groves Lock   South Africa
Jonny Hill Lock   England
Ernst van Rhyn Lock   South Africa
Cobus Wiese Lock   South Africa
Josh Beaumont Back row   England
Ben Curry Back row   England
Tom Curry Back row   England
Huw Davies Back row   Wales
Sam Dugdale Back row   England
Tom Ellis Back row   England
Ewan Murphy Back row   England
Cameron Nield Back row   England
Yande Nkonge Back row   England
Dan du Preez Back row   South Africa
Jean-Luc du Preez Back row   South Africa
Will Riley Back row   England
Tristan Woodman Back row   England
Player Position Union
Aneurin Nye-Thomas Scrum-half   England
Raffi Quirke Scrum-half   England
Gus Warr Scrum-half   England
Tom Curtis Fly-half   England
George Ford Fly-half   England
Robert du Preez Fly-half   South Africa
Charlie Wardle Fly-half   England
Sam Bedlow Centre   England
Connor Doherty Centre   England
Sam James Centre   England
Rekeiti Ma'asi-White Centre   England
Ben Motamed Centre   England
Aaron Pope Centre   England
Manu Tuilagi Centre   England
Tom O'Flaherty Wing   England
Arron Reed Wing   Scotland
Tom Roebuck Wing   England
Alex Wills Wing   England
Joe Carpenter Fullback   England
Luke James Fullback   England
Telusa Veainu Fullback   Tonga

Academy squad edit

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Wills Austin Hooker   Wales
Ralph McEachran Prop   England
Tye Raymont Prop   England
Tom Burrow Lock   England
Frank Chatterton Back row   England
Player Position Union
Carwyn Edwards Scrum-half   Wales
Will Wootton Scrum-half   England
Finn Rogers Fly-half   England
Osain Roberts Centre   Wales
Albert Bradshaw Wing   England
Obi Ene Wing   England

Notable former players edit

Lions Tourists edit

The following Sale players have been selected for the Lions tours while at the club:

Rugby World Cup edit

The following are players which have represented their countries at the Rugby World Cup whilst playing for Sale Sharks:

Tournament Players selected England players Other national team players
1999 1 Phil Greening
2003 2 Jason Robinson Bryan Redpath (c)  
2007 10 Andrew Sheridan, Mark Cueto Elvis Seveali'i  , Scott Lawson, Rory Lamont, Jason White (c)  , Carlos Ignacio Fernández Lobbe, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe  , Sébastien Bruno, Sébastien Chabal  
2011 9 Mark Cueto Alasdair Dickinson, Richie Vernon  , Tony Buckley  , Andrei Ostrikov  , Wame Lewaravu  , Tasesa Lavea, Johnny Leota  , Andy Powell  
2015 4 TJ Ioane, Johnny Leota  , Shalva Mamukashvili  , Phil Mackenzie  
2019 5 Tom Curry, Mark Wilson Valery Morozov  , Faf de Klerk  , AJ MacGinty  
2023 5 Tom Curry, George Ford, Bevan Rodd, Manu Tuilagi Augustin Creevy  

Sponsorship edit

Sale Sharks signed a three-year deal with Manchester business UKFast in 1999, the value of the deal being in excess of £2 million,[34] at the same time they changed their name from Sale to Sale Sharks. Lawrence Jones Managing Director of UKFast is a keen supporter of the club.

In 2003, Global computer security software company McAfee were announced as a sponsor, originally the firm's logo was seen on Sale shirt collars a first in terms of sports sponsorship for the company. In April 2006 the company announced a three-year, seven-figure extension to its existing main club sponsorship at a time when Sale was leading the premiership with McAfee principal front of shirt sponsor.

UKFast, announced a new sponsorship deal in March 2009 which ended McAfee's four-year association with the club. UKFast has been associated with the Sharks since 1999 but for the first time had the job of being the principal sponsor. CEO Lawrence Jones decided to end the deal with Sale in April 2011, explaining that the decision was taken partly for business reasons, but also due to changes at the club – including Charlie Hodgson's departure at the end of the 2010–11 season.[35]

In July 2011, the club announced that credit card lender MBNA would become the club's Principal Partner for the next three seasons, and that the partnership would see the MBNA logo on the front of all three of Sales Sharks' home, away and European shirts.[36] A two-year partnership extension was agreed in September 2013 lasting until the end of the 2015/16 season. [37]

After a five-year break UKFast became club sponsors again in July 2016, at the time this was the largest sponsorship deal in the history of the club. CEO Lawrence Jones commented: “This partnership is more than a logo on a shirt. UKFast has been associated with Sale Sharks for more than a decade. It's a club that is incredibly close to my heart and I can't wait to contribute to its success. [38]

In October 2020, Manchester-based cyber technology company VST Enterprises announced it has launched what it claims is the world's first interactive sports kit for the club. The men's team wore a ‘maze’ style logo – called a VCode, positioned between the name branding on the front of their shirts for the 2020/21 season. The Vcode, similar to a QR code, could be scanned by fans via smartphone, allowing access to exclusive content.

On the 1st September 2021 Sale Sharks has signed up to a new long-term partnership with online electricals store, AO, [39] which will see the Bolton-based retailer take over as the club's principal front of shirt sponsor. AO will also work closely with the Sharks Community Trust, the club's charitable arm, to create and launch ‘Are you AO-K?’, a life-changing mental health programme in schools across the North West. The South Stand at Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium will also be renamed and branded as the AO Stand, as part of the multi-year deal. Sharks CEO Sid Sutton said: “Everyone at the club is so excited to welcome AO to the Sharks family. I have no doubt that this is a partnership that's going to drive the club onto the next level both on and off the pitch.

Records edit

Team records edit

  • Record Win: 76 – 0 vs Bristol (Allied Dunbar Premiership, 1997-98)
  • Record Loss: 58 – 5 vs London Wasps (Allied Dunbar Premiership, 1999-2000)
  • Best League Position: 1st (Guinness Premiership, 2005-06)
  • Worst League Position: 9th (Courage League National Division Two, 1989–90)

Player records edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ As a code of football, rugby clubs also referred to themselves, or continue to refer to themselves, as simply a "football club", or as a "rugby football club". See Football (word).

References edit

  1. ^ "AJ Bell Stadium". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Sale Sharks appoint Alex Sanderson as Director of Rugby". Sale Sharks. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  3. ^ Sale FC Rugby Club. "Our history". Sale FC. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  4. ^ W. W. Wakefield; H. P. Marshall (1928). Rugger – The History, Theory and Practice of Rugby Football. p. 361.
  5. ^ Despite playing for the British team, Isherwood was never selected for England.
  6. ^ "Sale Sharks make triple signing". BBC News. 3 May 2005.
  7. ^ "Sale 45-20 Leicester". 27 May 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  8. ^ a b Source: Sale Sharks website
  9. ^ Cleary, Mick (3 March 2009). "Sale head coach Jason Robinson not deterred by Martin Johnson's England woes". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Jones proud despite missing play-offs". Premiership Rugby. 25 April 2009.
  11. ^ "Robinson named as Sale head coach". BBC News. 25 February 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Jason Robinson confirms he will leave Sale Sharks at the end of the season". The Telegraph. London. 28 April 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Mike Brewer replaces Jason Robinson as Sale head coach". BBC News. 28 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Andy Powell joins the Sale Sharks revolution". Guardian. London. 11 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Sale Sharks sign Ireland prop Tony Buckley". Daily Telegraph. London. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  16. ^ "Sale sign ex-Wasps boss Hanks". Planet Rugby. London. 13 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Sale Sharks sack head coach Tony Hanks". Manchester Evening News. 24 March 2012.
  18. ^ "Redpath removed as Sale supremo". BBC Sport.
  19. ^ "Mitchell quits role as Sale coach". BBC Sport.
  20. ^ Elliott, Andrew (9 February 2013). "Mark Cueto becomes Premiership's top try-scorer | Rugby Union | Sport | Daily Express". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Match Centre | Rugby | Sale Sharks | Official Site : Sale Sharks 34 – Cardiff Blues 33". Sale Sharks. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Pool 1 : Heineken Cup". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Match Centre | Rugby | Sale Sharks | Official Site : Toulon 62 – Sale Sharks 0". Sale Sharks. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Match Centre | Rugby | Sale Sharks | Official Site : Sale Sharks 14 Northampton Saints 28". Sale Sharks. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  25. ^ Swanton, Dave. "News | Sale Sharks | Official Site : Four Sharks Players in the England Training Squad". Sale Sharks. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  26. ^ Hill, Melanie. "News | Sale Sharks | Official Site : Ross Harrison and James Gaskell Called To England Training". Sale Sharks. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  27. ^ "Sale Sharks confirm takeover by investment group led by Simon Orange". 9 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Sale Sharks confirm Alex Sanderson as new DoR". 15 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Saracens beat Sale to win sixth Premiership title". BBC Sport.
  30. ^ "Melrose Sevens". 7 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Cartha / Glasgow City Sevens". 7 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Sale Sharks squad". Sale Sharks. 28 November 2023. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  33. ^ "Sale squad for season 2023/2024". All Rugby. 28 November 2023. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  34. ^ "Sale enjoy life in the UKFast lane". Manchester Evening News.
  35. ^ "UKFast ends marketing deal with Sale Sharks". 18 April 2011. Archived from the original on 20 April 2011.
  36. ^ "MBNA announced as Sale Sharks Principal Partner". Now Rugby. 1 July 2011.
  37. ^ "MBNA and Sale Sharks pen two-year partnership extension". 20 September 2013.
  38. ^ "Sale Sharks announce new sponsorship deal with UKFast". 12 July 2016.
  39. ^ "Sale Sharks Sign New Front of Shirt Deal with AO". September 2021.

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