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Aviva Premiership
Sale confirm mass changes
ESPNscrum Staff
May 9, 2011

Sale Sharks executive director of sport Steve Diamond has confirmed wholesale changes to the club's playing and backroom staff for next season.

Along with Saracens-bound fly-half Charlie Hodgson, Welsh prop Eifion Roberts and former England wing Ben Cohen, 18 other players and four members of the backroom staff will exit Edgeley Park.

Chris Bell, Asaeli Boko, Chris Brightwell, Sean Cox, Rhys Crane, Carl Fearns, Jack Forster, Matty James, Chris Jones, Sisaro Koyamaibole, Selorm Kuadey, Chris Leck, Neil McMillan, Simon McIntyre, Fergus Mulchrone, Kristian Ormsby, Nic Rouse and Mathew Tait are the players cut loose while conditioner Peter Finch, backs coach Byron Hayward and analysts Dan Lyne and Andrew Vernon have been axed behind the scenes.

Diamond said that the changes were needed after two poor seasons in which the Sharks finished 11th and 10th on the Premiership ladder.

"Such a wholesale change of players and coaching staff is necessary considering the performances of the club in the last two seasons," he said. "With a couple of exceptions, the club declined to make offers to the departing players and staff."

On Monday the Sharks continued their recruitment drive with the signing of Russian second-row forward Andrei Ostrikov from French club Aurillac. Ostrikov, 23, joins Glasgow No.8 Richie Vernon, Munster prop Tony Buckley, Samoan international fly-half Tasesa Lavea, Wasps hooker Joe Ward, Northampton lock Mark Easter and Leeds duo Kearnan Myall and Luther Burrell in signing.

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