Aviva Premiership
Sale close in on ex-All Black
ESPN Staff
November 29, 2012
Sale Sharks' director of sport Steve Diamond poses with the Premiership trophy, Aviva Premiership season launch, Twickenham, England, August 24, 2011
Steve Diamond is keen to bolster his front-row resources © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Steve Diamond | John Mitchell
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Sale Sharks are on the verge of signing a former All Blacks forward, according to chief executive Steve Diamond.

Diamond has previously spoken of his desire to bolster their front-row resources with Henry Thomas and Al Dickinson both sidelined and with former All Blacks coach John Mitchell now in place at the club, he looks set to be joined by another Kiwi in what could be the first of a few new arrivals.

"We're looking to strengthen the pack and we'll have an ex-international All Black joining us in the next couple of weeks," Diamond told the Manchester Evening News. "Hopefully, there could be a couple of other additions in the New Year as well if the right people become available. But it all depends on availability. We won't be bringing people in for the sake of it."

Since Mitchell's arrival on Monday, Diamond, who stepped in to take charge of the first-team when he opted to change Bryan Redpath's position from director of rugby to head coach, will now focus on off-field matters with recruitment ahead of next season at the top of his list. But in the mean time, the Sharks will be focused on retaining their top flight status with the team currently languishing at the foot of the table with just one win from nine to their name.

And Mitchell, alongside head coach Redpath, will seek opinions from the other members of the management but he will have the final say on team selection. "I am responsible for the rugby programme now but it is about a coaching group," Mitchell said. "I think the days are gone where one person has to do everything.

"But certainly somebody has to be responsible for the rugby programme. It allows 'Dimes' to get back into the business of the organisation. I'm fortunate in that I can cover the whole game.

"I will involved in the (team selection) process and I will have a major decision. It will still be a collective decision but ultimately when we leave the door I will responsible for that decision."

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