NEW Sale supremo Steve Diamond has made his first capture since taking up at the reins at Edgeley Park by swooping to capture Irish man mountain, Tony Buckley. Weighing in at 21 stone 5lbs, the 30-year-old Munster prop is one of the heaviest men currently playing professional rugby.

Befitting his giant frame, Buckley wears size 16 boots which have to be specially made for him in Germany! The Irish tighthead star, nicknamed Mushy, who has 21 international caps and has just been called into the Ireland squad for the Six Nations campaign, has penned a three year deal with Sale and will join the club in the summer.

Buckley’s capture is set to be the first of many by executive director of sport Diamond, with the club set to announce a number of other signings over the next few weeks. And it also carries uncanny echoes of Diamond’s first signing when he was joint Sale coach back in 2001.

Then he brought another prop – Kevin Yates – to the club who played a big part in Sale’s subsequent success under Diamond and Jim Mallinder. Diamond said: “This is a statement of intent of what Sale Sharks want to achieve. We want to build a team around a dominant pack of forwards.