Sale Sharks will sign Josh Charnley from rugby league side Wigan Warriors at the end of the Super League season
The 24-year-old has helped Wigan win a Super League Grand Final and two Challenge Cups since joining in 2010
Josh Charnley will switch codes at the end of the season when he leaves rugby league side Wigan Warriors to join Premiership rugby union club Sale Sharks.
In a statement released via Wigan, the England international said: “Since joining the club seven years ago, the team and the fans have been like a second family to me. Shaun Wane has been an amazing coach, mentor and friend and I thank him and all the players for the past seven years.
“I’ve had the most amazing times at the club, the 2013 double will live long in the memory when I look back on my career. I will forever be supporting Wigan Warriors, and stay involved in the local community as I have so many good memories, friends and family here.”
Charnley will now hope to follow in the footsteps of Jason Robinson, who swapped Wigan for Sale when he switched codes in 2000, going on to play 159 times for the Sharks while earning 51 England caps.
“Josh is a great signing. Everyone I have spoken to rates him very highly,” said the director of rugby Steve Diamond.
Charnley, who has played seven times for England, scored a hat-trick in his most recent appearance for Warriors – Monday’s 30-16 win over Hull KR.
He has scored 148 tries and kicked 94 goals in 152 games for last season’s Super League grand finalists.
Diamond added: “He has explosive pace and can play either full-back or on the wing. The last big signing we made from Wigan, back in 2000, was Jason Robinson and what an impact he had.”
Wigan tried to keep Charnley by offering him a new deal, Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan said.
“We offered Josh a new long-term contract that would put him up there with the biggest earners at the club,” he added.
“But having won so much at Wigan, he feels that the time is right to take on a new challenge.”
Wigan coach Shaun Wane said he will have “a heavy heart” seeing Charnley leave, adding he was “sad” at Sarginson’s impending departure.