George Ford’s transfer to Sale Sharks explains why he is leaving Leicester Tigers.
The fly-half has signed a three-year deal with the north-west club, which will give him a chance to return home while also giving him a lot of options for the future.
George Ford’s move from Leicester Tigers to Sale Sharks next summer is one of the most significant in English rugby history, especially when compared to Manu Tuilagi’s move from Leicester Tigers to Sale Sharks last summer.
And there are some elements that are shared by both stories, as well as some that are strikingly different.
With the Premiership table in front of him, it appears that the 28-year-old Ford is moving from a club on the rise in Leicester to one that is struggling to make an impact on the national stage.
Leicester have had a couple of disappointing seasons by their high standards, but they are now unbeaten at the top of the Premiership, with Sale 20 points behind in eighth place.
As director of rugby at Leicester, Steve Borthwick is achieving great results, whereas Alex Sanderson’s team is inconsistent, hampered by injuries and unavailability.
There will be no relegation from the Premier League for at least the next two years, but with the World Club Cup on the horizon, standing still could mean falling behind.
And it’s possible that not everything in that table is as simple as it appears.
Will Borthwick and his rigid game plan still be in place at Leicester after the 2023 World Cup, or will he have moved on to an international job by then? Are Sale and the imaginative Sanderson, with their long-term contracts for big players like the Curry twins and plans to buy a stadium, actually a better long-term bet – despite Tigers’ digs about their comparatively small fan base in their statement on Wednesday?
The financial ramifications are extensive.
During the three years of this Sale contract, Ford is expected to make £1.6 million (gross).
Leicester is said to have offered him a higher salary if he stayed, but the security of the Sale contract could be significant.
In any case, even top earners like Ford, who have already danced and kicked their way to a stellar career, are not set up for life when it comes time to hang up their boots.
This contract expires in 2025.
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
The England star’s move to Sale Sharks explains why he is leaving Leicester Tigers.
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Why is George Ford leaving Leicester Tigers? England star’s transfer to Sale Sharks explained