England U20 lock signs long-term deal with Sharks after leaving Bristol
Sale Sharks are delighted to confirm the signing of promising lock Alex Groves on a long-term contract.
The towering 21-year-old, who was born in South Africa but has represented England at Under 20 level, joins Sharks after leaving Bristol Bears.
Alex joined Bristol Bears on a two-year deal in January 2020, after leaving St John’s College in Cape Town, South Africa.
The 6ft 8in, 120kg second-row was called up to the England U20 squad for the 2020 Six Nations and the following year was named in the 32-man elite player squad for the 2021 U20 championships.
He made his first appearance for the Bears’ first team in a Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Worcester Warriors in November.
Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said he was delighted to welcome another Alex to the club and he said his new man has a big future ahead of him.
He said: “Alex has all the attributes to be a really top player and I can’t wait to see him in action. He’s still young but he’s already a powerful guy with all the skills you need from a modern-day lock.
“This club is committed to giving young players opportunities, so Alex knows that if he works hard and develops in the way we believe he can, he’s got a big future here.”
Alex has joined up with the Sharks squad immediately.
He said: “I’m hugely excited to have signed. Honestly, it’s surreal to be training alongside greats of the game that I’ve grown up watching, admiring and learning from when I was at school.
“I am privileged to be part of such a great club. The first thing I noticed when I arrived is that this is a family, not just a rugby club. There is a spirit here that I have not experienced anywhere else and I’m really looking forward to working alongside Alex and all of the coaching staff. I’m looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead of me here at Sale.”
Sharks CEO Sid Sutton said Alex’s signing is another indication of the club’s commitment to young talent.
He added: “We’re building a squad full of young, hungry players and we’re confident Alex can be a big part of our future.
“We’re just at the start of an exciting new era for Sale Sharks and this is another demonstration of the ambition of everyone at the club to push forwards and achieve great things.”