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Aviva Premiership
Hodgson confirms Sale exit
ESPNscrum Staff
January 9, 2011
Sale's Charlie Hodgson encourages his side, Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks, Aviva Premiership, Kingston Park, Newcastle, England, January 7, 2011
Charlie Hodgson will leave Sale at the end of the season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Charlie Hodgson
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: England | Sale Sharks

Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson will leave the ailing Aviva Premiership club at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old England international has turned down a new deal at Edgeley Park in order to seek a fresh challenge elsewhere, ending an 11-season relationship with the Sharks.

During that time he has amassed a Premiership record 1,753 points and won the league title as well as two European Challenge Cups.

Sale are currently 10th in the Premiership table, after another disappointing start to the season and recent sacking of coach Mike Brewer, but Hodgson admitted that the current plight of the club did not influence his decision.

He is yet to confirm his new home, although reports suggest that Saracens are leading the chase for his services among a number of Premiership suitors.

"Irrespective of what has happened this season at the club, I wanted a new challenge elsewhere," he said. "I am not getting any younger and wouldn't want to hang up my boots wondering whether I should have moved.

"Sale have always been good to me and I have made many friends at the club, both on and off the field. The fans are very special and they can rest assured that I will be giving everything and more while I am still a Sharks player and want to leave the club on a high note."

Sale chief executive Mick Hogan, who also faces a battle to hold on to out-of-contract England prop Andrew Sheridan, expressed his disappointment at Hodgson's decision.

"Without doubt he will be considered one of the greatest players to ever play for Sale Sharks," he said. "We made it clear to Charlie that we wanted him to stay at Sale but understand his reasons for wishing to move on.

"We know what a difficult decision this has been for Charlie to make and the club are thankful for the early indication he has given us on his future. Hopefully this will now end the recent intense speculation on the matter."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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