Sale Sharks are delighted to confirm that five members of the highly successful Sharks Junior Academy have graduated and signed professional contracts with the club ahead of 2017/18.
Sam Moore, Matt Sturgess, Luke James, Arron Reed and Nic Dolly have all signed five-year deals at the Sharks, as Steve Diamond looks to produce the next generation of rugby players to follow in the footsteps of the Curry brothers, who toured with England this summer.
Brendan Thomas, Academy Manager, said: “This has been one of the strongest age-groups that have come through our system, and this was proven when the side qualified for the Finals Day back in February.
“We are really excited to see how these five players adapt and develop in a full-time environment.”
He added: “We’ve had numerous players represent England through the age-levels this season ranging from U16-19 level, to Paolo Odogwu being called up to the U20 World Championship. Our successful year was opitimised with Tom and Ben Curry being called up to the senior tour to Argentina this summer, and Tom making his debut for the national side and putting in a brilliant performance. Having these players will help the club in the long run as we look to build the number of home grown players in the first team in the next five years.”
Steve Diamond, Sharks Director of Rugby said: “These guys are the next generation of players coming through. They have all signed five year contracts and have been training with us throughout the summer, I am hoping they can take the mantle from Paolo Odogwu during at this years 7’s tournament at Northampton.
“We invest in these guys from an early age, giving them access to strength and conditioning coaches, nutritional advice and expert rugby knowledge to ensure we get the best out of these lads during the early stages of their careers.
“These guys are all products of our 100 Club initiative. We have been working with local clubs within a 50mile radius of Sale, and what you find is when these guys are playing for their local club, representing their community, they give that extra 10%. The Curry brothers proved this last year, and in the summer playing for England, Tom showed again – if you’re good enough, you’re old enough!”