Not a money issue: Henry Thomas and James Gaskell leave Sale Sharks for ‘lifestyle’ reasons, says Diamond

By Alan Ross

Sale Sharks have been hit with a double blow as promising England prop Henry Thomas and former Sharks’ captain James Gaskell have confirmed their departures from the club.

Thomas, 22, believes his international ambition will be better served elsewhere as he looks to add to his two England appearances.

While Gaskell, who was the youngest ever player to captain the club when he was just 20, is  also moving on despite Sale’s director of rugby Steve Diamond’s attempts to keep the duo.

“With both Henry and Jamma it is not a money issue as to why they are moving on – it is purely for rugby/lifestyle reasons,” he told the club website.

“There’s no rancour or bad feeling and we’ll wish both of the lads good luck when they do move on.

“We’re confident that we’ll replace the lads and we wish them all the best. It’s the nature of the beast that while some players want to stay, others wish to move on.”

Thomas is part of England’s squad for the up-coming Six Nations and it is widely thought  that the tighthead will confirm a move to Bath soon with 23-year-old Gaskell expected to join London Wasps.

These departures follow on from the news last week that veteran scrum-half Dwayne Peel is joining Bristol but Diamond is hopeful he can find quality replacements for them.

“We’re looking for a top class scrum half to replace Dwayne Peel and now a top class tighthead prop to replace Henry, and we’re looking worldwide for the right players,” he continued.

“Hopefully, we’ll get some deals done within the next two or three weeks as we are down the line with one or two.”

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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