Sale Sharks Fly Half Charlie Hodgson will be leaving the club at the end of the current season. The 30 year England International and British Lions Tourist will depart after eleven seasons at the Sharks where he has amassed a Premiership record 1,753 points.
Sale Sharks CEO Mick Hogan commented,
“We are naturally disappointed that Charlie has told us that he will be leaving the club but would like to thank him for all his efforts over the past eleven seasons. Without doubt he will be considered one of the greatest players to ever play for Sale Sharks.
We made it clear to Charlie that we wanted him to stay at Sale but understand his reasons for wishing to move on. We know what a difficult decision this has been for Charlie to make and the club are thankful for the early indication he has given us on his future. Hopefully this will now end the recent intense speculation on the matter and will allow the player and his Sharks team-mates to concentrate on the second half of the season as there is still lots to play for in Aviva Premiership Rugby and LV= Cup”
Hodgson joined the club straight from University and has won the Premiership Final and two European Challenge Cups with the Sharks since making his debut against French side Auch in 2000.
Hogan continued, “We now need to look to the future for Sale Sharks and to continue to build a winning squad around our current crop of outstanding, young, locally produced players. Our recruitment process is well underway for the 2011/12 season and beyond, not only for Charlie’s replacement, but to strengthen the squad from 1-15.”
Speaking about his decision Charlie Hodgson said,
“Irrespective of what has happened this season at the club I wanted a new challenge elsewhere. I am not getting any younger and wouldn’t want to hang up my boots wondering whether I should have moved. Sale Sharks have always been good to me and I have made many friends at the club both on and off the field. The fans are very special and they can be rest assured that I will be giving everything and more whilst I am still a Sharks player and want to leave the club on a high note.”