Updated: Monday, 21st October 2019 @ 1:38pm

Andrew Sheridan swapping Sale for Toulon next season

Andrew Sheridan swapping Sale for Toulon next season

By Jack Travers

Sale and England prop Andrew Sheridan has called time on his Edgeley Park career and is set to join French club Toulon.

Sheridan will join former England teammates Jonny Wilkinson, Simon Shaw and Steffon Armitage in the south of France from next season.

The 32-year-old has made over 100 appearances for the Sharks and would have had many more but for injuries and England commitments for whom he has 40 caps.

He has also been capped twice by the British and Irish Lions on tours to New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009.  

The former bricklayer joined the club from Bristol in 2003 and is renowned for his brutal strength and scrummaging power.

Sale director of sport Steve Diamond said: “It's his decision. He's been a loyal member of the club for a long time but he feels that he's best suited for the next two or three years to try his hand by playing over in France.

"His words to me when he told me were that he was glad he's been here while I've been here.

"Obviously, I will be sad to see him go because he's been here at the club for such a long time but, equally, I guess you then have to look at the pros and the cons.

"You have to consider what he brings to the club, you also have to look at his England status, his injury status so there's a lot to take into account."

Sheridan has had a series of injury problems over the years and has not featured for the Sharks this season after returning home early from the World Cup in New Zealand with a shoulder injury last November.

The 6ft5in loosehead prop looks like he will be joined at Toulon by London Irish pair Nick Kennedy and Delon Armitage.

The move will almost certainly curtail his England career as the RFU have said they will only pick home-based players except in an emergency.

Sheri, as he is known to many, has not hidden his desire to play in France and came close to moving last season before Diamond persuaded him to stay for another year.

He said at the time: "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sale but I've also said to the coaches at the club that at some stage in my career I'd be keen on playing in France.

"And that's not purely from a financial point of view. Playing abroad would also offer me and my family the chance of a lifestyle change. Our daughter Catrin is young enough not to be affected by school concerns.

"Obviously, you do have the financial benefits of playing in France, but that is not the sole reason."