Farewell to Faf? Sale Sharks and Springboks star likely to depart club

World Cup-winning South African scrum-half Faf de Klerk looks set to leave Sale Sharks at the end of this season.

Multiple sources have linked the Springboks’ number nine with a move away from the AJ Bell Stadium in the summer, with The Telegraph claiming he is ‘on the verge of signing’ for Japanese side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

In a move that will certainly be gutting for fans who’ve loved seeing his flowing blonde locks tear up the Gallagher Premiership, it is believed de Klerk will link up with former coach and fellow countryman, Johan Ackermann.

The Red Hurricanes are coached by former Lions Super Rugby boss Ackermann, who gave de Klerk his debut for the Johannesburg outfit in 2014.

Together, they helped the side reach back-to-back Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017, and de Klerk would also link up with former Lions and Springboks teammate, Elton Jantjies.

Faf de Klerk vs Harlequins
(Image:, Faf de Klerk.jpg” by Jack86mkII is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.)

It is rumoured that Sale were unable to match the estimated £900,000 salary offered to their star man, with the Premiership salary cap reducing from £6.5m to £5m this year.

Losing de Klerk may not be the end of the world for the Manchester club, however, as young England starlet Raffi Quirke is likely to take over as first-choice scrum-half.

The Sharks academy product has impressed since bursting onto the scene in 2018, and has already earned two senior England caps, including a heroic, try-scoring performance against South Africa at Twickenham in the autumn.

With de Klerk gone, Quirke would be a nailed-on starter at Sale, and would no doubt be able to kick on for further international honours, having already impressed during his fledgeling England career.

(Feature image credit: creative “Larger than life” by warrenski is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.)

Related Articles