Leicester Tigers hit by George Ford blow after England fly-half reveals he will join Premiership rivals Sale Sharks when his contract expires at the end of the season
- George Ford has been central to Leicester’s unbeaten start to the new season
- But the fly-half revealed his intentions to leave during a meeting on Tuesday
- He was given a tour of Sale’s training complex by CEO Sid Sutton last Friday
England fly-half George Ford has told Leicester that he will leave the club at the end of the season to join Sale.
Sportsmail understands Ford revealed his intentions on Tuesday during a meeting with Tigers director of rugby Steve Borthwick and head of recruitment Richard Wilks.
The 28-year-old was given a tour of Sale’s training complex by CEO Sid Sutton last Friday and could sign a three-year contract as soon as Wednesday.
England fly-half George Ford has told Leicester he will leave for Sale at the end of the season
Ford has been central to Leicester’s unbeaten start to the season and his departure will come as a major blow, with a limited number of replacements available in the market.
Sale’s budget has been freed up by the departure of fellow No 10 AJ MacGinty, with top-earning Springbok lock Lood de Jager also linked with a move closer to home.
The transfer will take Ford closer to his roots in the North West, while also keeping alive his ambitions of playing for England at the 2023 World Cup.
Ford hopes the Sale move will boost his hopes of playing for England at the 2023 World Cup
French heavyweights Montpellier had expressed an interest in recruiting the 71-cap international but a move overseas would have spelled the end of his Test ambitions.
Speaking about the prospect of signing Ford last week, Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson said: ‘We had a conversation and I feel it went well. I like the lad, I love what he’s about. He’s very honest.
‘He’s driven, he’s still very ambitious. He’s a family man, so he showed a lot of traits that would align themselves very well here.’