Twelve players to depart Sharks

Sale Sharks can confirm the players that will depart the club after the conclusion of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

Following the announced departures of club legends Will Cliff and Jono Ross alongside Scotland internationals Byron McGuigan and Ewan Ashman earlier this season, a further eight players will leave the Sharks at the end of the club’s most successful season in over 15 years.

Academy graduates Ben Carlile, Elliot Gourlay, Kieran Wilkinson and Matt Postlethwaite will all leave the club to head for pastures new, as will centre Sam Hill following two seasons in the North West.

Jason Woodward, Ryan Mills and Dom Barrow will also depart following the conclusion of their short-term contracts at Sale.

Everyone at the club would like to thank our outgoing players for their contribution to Sale Sharks over the years and wish them the very best for the future.

Commenting on the players leaving this season, Alex Sanderson said: “ I would like to thank every single one of these boys for their contribution to Sale Sharks, they have all played a part in the clubs most successful season in over fifteen years.

“It’s never easy letting players leave, especially Northern lads who have come through our academy, but it’s a sign of the changing dynamic of the game.

“I’m grateful to have had the privilege to work with each one of them and get to know them on a personal level. I have made friends for life and as I always say the door is never shut, they’re always welcome at the AJ Bell and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Ben Carlile

Tight-head prop Ben Carlile joined the club from Yorkshire Academy at the start of the 2019/20 season and has made six appearances for Sale Sharks over four years.

Matt Postlethwaite

Lock Matt Postlethwaite joined the Sale Sharks Academy from the Yorkshire Academy in 2015 after playing his formative rugby at Ilkley Rugby Club.

Matt spent two years as a dual-registered player with Sale FC and has made 53 appearances for the Sharks since joining the club.

Kieran Wilkinson

Fly-half Kieran Wilkinson joined the Sale Sharks academy in 2017 after leaving Kirkham Grammar School, in Lancashire.

Kieran made his first team debut for Sharks against Perpignan in the European Challenge Cup in 2018, putting in a composed performance to guide his side to a 41-24 victory.  

Kieran leaves the club after making 29 appearances scoring a total of 235 points for the Sharks over the years.

Jason Woodward

Full-back Jason Woodward joined Sharks on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season after his release from Gloucester. The versatile back, who can also play on the wing and in the centre, had spent five years at Kingsholm.

After a season plagued with injury, Jason has made only two appearances for the Sharks since joining.

Dom Barrow

Dom Barrow ended a two-year hiatus from professional rugby when he joined Sharks in February 2022 after impressing Sharks coaches during a trial spell. The Sheffield-born forward, who stands at 6’8”, joined Alex Sanderson’s squad on a permanent deal.

Dom leaves the club following completion of his contract this season.

Sam Hill

Combative centre Sam Hill joined Sale Sharks in 2020 on a two-year deal after spending a decade at Exeter Chiefs. 

Known for his physicality and his direct, abrasive style of play, Sam made 150 appearances for Exeter before making the switch to the AJ Bell.

Sam has made a total of 32 appearances for the Sharks over two seasons.

Elliot Gourlay

Versatile Elliot Gourlay is yet another graduate of Kirkham Grammar School and played his rugby right across the back-line, featuring at fly half, centre and full back. 

Elliot played his junior rugby at Altrincham Kersal RFC before joining the Sharks Academy and has been dual registered with Caldy for the last two seasons.

Elliot leaves the club after 8 appearances as a Sharks and 10 points in Sale colours.

Ryan Mills

A skilled goal-kicker, Mills started his career at Exeter Chiefs, spending 12 years at Sandy Park before making the move to Gloucester. He played 26 times for the Cherry and Whites before moving to Worcester.

Ryan joined Wasps in July 2020 after making 106 appearances for the Warriors. Following a short stint at Wasps, Ryan joined the Sharks, making 8 appearances for the club this season.

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