sale sharksSale Sharks have confirmed the appointment of  Tony Hanks the club’s first team coach. Hanks started at the club’s Carrington base today,  and will be responsible for attack, game plan and defence.

The New Zealander is best-known in English club rugby for his two spells with London Wasps, first joining the club in 2002 under the then Director of Rugby, Warren Gatland. Working as a Technical Analyst and Assistant Coach for the side, Hanks was a key part of the coaching set up that secured three Premiership titles, a Heineken Cup and Parker Pen Shield in just three seasons.

Hanks returned to New Zealand three years later, where he took on the role of Assistant Coach with the Waikato provincial team between 2005 and 2007, securing the Air New Zealand Cup in 2006 and the Ranfurly Shield a year later. Throughout 2006 and 2007 he also worked for the Super 14 side, the Chiefs, as Technical Analyst and Skills Coach, combining the same role with the Junior All Blacks. In 2008 he was promoted to Head Coach of Waikato – a role he left for his second spell with Wasps.

Welcoming Tony to his new club, Sale Sharks’ Executive Director of Sport Steve Diamond said,

“We are very pleased to announce Tony Hanks as our new First Team Coach at Sale Sharks. Tony will work alongside Forwards Coach Steve Scott, Academy Transition Coach Pete Anglesea and Performance Manager Nigel Ashley-Jones. He will be responsible for attack, our game plan and our overall defensive strategy. Tony has worked with some of the best teams in the world and brings a level of experience and achievement that will be of immediate benefit to Sale Sharks. There was tremendous interest in this position and Tony has emerged ahead of several other high profile and experienced coaches. He is the final piece of the off-field jigsaw and we are delighted he has chosen to join us.”

Tony Hanks commented, “I’m excited to be joining Sale Sharks, especially at a stage when there have been many changes. With so many players joining to form a much-changed team, it’s a great time to be involved and I share the massive sense of anticipation at the club.”