Statement: Sale Sharks confirm the re-signing of former captain - Ruck

Statement: Sale Sharks confirm the re-signing of former captain

Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to re-sign former captain Will Addison almost six years after the versatile back left to join Ulster. 

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The 31-year-old, who can play centre, on the wing or full-back, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a further year to re-join Sharks at the end of the current season. 

Cumbrian Will came through the Sharks Academy and played more than 100 games for the club in his first stint. 

He was named Sharks captain ahead of the 2017/18 season but then left in June 2018 to follow his dream of playing international rugby for Ireland. 

A series of serious injuries since have restricted him to just four test appearances in the famous green shirt but now fit again, he has made 16 appearances this season for Ulster including two in the Champions Cup. 

Will said: “It was really tough to leave Sale but I did it for the right reasons and I have loved my time in UIster. I played international rugby for Ireland and that was a huge dream of mine. 

“But I’ve remained a big Sale supporter and I’ve loved watching the club going from strength to strength in the last couple of years. Before I left, Simon Orange told me the club was going places and he was right.  

“To see the crowds in the stadium grow and how much emphasis the club have put on building a connection with the north has been fantastic. 

“My best friends are still at Sale – Tommy Taylor was my best man and Josh Beaumont was an usher, and I came through the academy with guys like Ross Harrison, Si McIntyre and Sam James. I’ve also got a young baby and now is the right time for us as a family to move back. 

“But I wouldn’t move if I didn’t feel like we had a chance of winning something. There are so many brilliant young players here and I can’t wait to play with them and try and help them develop as much as I can.” 


In his remarkable lineup, Owens features three Welsh luminaries – Alun Wyn Jones, Shane Williams, and Gethin Jenkins. Additionally, he acknowledges the contributions of Lee Byrne, Dwayne Peel, and Leigh Halfpenny to the sport.

Notably, a striking facet of Owens’ chosen players is their collective leadership qualities, with the majority of the selected individuals having served as captains for their respective nations.

Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Fixtures for the Six Nations - Round 1

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”