George Ford’s move to Sale Sharks confirmed after penning a three-year deal, with the England fly-half to leave Leicester after his contract expires at the end of the season
- George Ford will leave Leicester Tigers for the second time in his career
- Sale Sharks confirmed signing with Ford ‘excited’ about playing for home side
- Sale boss Alex Sanderson claims signing underlines the club’s high ambitions
George Ford will join Sale Sharks from Leicester next season, the England fly-half leaving Welford Road for the second time in the summer.
Ford signed a three-year deal with Sale, having told Tigers he would be leaving earlier this week as Sportsmail reported on Tuesday.
Commenting on the announcement Oldham-born Ford said: ‘I’m excited about what the future holds – playing rugby in the North West, representing the club where I am from and helping drive Sale Sharks forward.
Sale Sharks have confirmed the signing of George Ford from Leicester on a three-year deal
‘It has been the most difficult decision of my career.
‘I am proud and grateful to represent this great club at Leicester and I will give my all for the rest of my time at Tigers.’
Ford re-joined Leicester, unbeaten so far this season with the fly-half at the heart of their revival, in 2017, having left for Bath in 2013.
Alex Sanderson, Sale’s boss said of his impending arrival: ‘George Ford is world class – one of the very best fly-halves in the game over the past five years. This season he’s probably playing the best rugby of his career so we’re getting him at the right time.
‘I met him twice and we had the chance to show him around the ground and the fact that he’s taken this decision, in the form that he’s in, with Leicester doing so well, tells me that he believes in the ambition of this club, and in the culture that we’re building.
Ford will leave Leicester at the end of the current campaign for the second time in his career
‘He’s a northerner and his heart is very much in this area. He’s been away for some years now but he’s coming back to his spiritual home. His family is hugely important to him and I know that his life outside rugby has played a part in this move.
‘The exciting thing for me is that he’s 28 years old, and he’s coming here in the form of his life. We aspire to be a major force in the Premiership and in Europe too and we’ve got one of the world’s best flay-halves in his pomp.
‘It’s massively exciting but not just because of how talented he is. When I’ve spoken to him it’s clear that he wants to help us bring the younger players in our squad on. He has so much desire to lift the people around him and that’s the kind of person I want here.
‘It’s a massive boost for the club and it’s a big indication of what we’re all about and where we’re trying to get to.’
Ford will hope the move boost his chances of playing in the next World Cup with England
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick said: ‘George has made a personal decision, which he informed us of earlier this week, which means this will be his final season in Leicester.
‘I have had the pleasure of working with him for a number of years, with England and now here at Tigers, and I am grateful to have had that privilege.
‘We are fortunate to have the best following in rugby, who have been able to enjoy watching George represent their club for many years and I am sure they will echo me in thanking him for his contribution to Tigers.’
‘There are still a lot of games to be played in this season and George is fully committed to finishing his time at Leicester Tigers in front of big crowds at Welford Road, which our supporters can be proud of and to share in success with them.’
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