Friday morning saw a continuation of the flow of contract extensions being signed at Carrington in recent weeks with the news that scrum-half Peter Stringer has penned a one-year extension to stay with Sale Sharks for the 2016-17 season.
Capped a staggering 98 times by Ireland, Stringer, who joined Sale from Bath this summer on a one year deal, has so far made 13 appearances for the Sharks and has arguably already usurped former incumbent Chris Cusiter as first choice scrum-half in less than half a season.
Stringer, despite still playing at an age (38) few others have matched in the professional era, was named in pre-season as the second fittest member of the Sale squad and has impressed this year with his accurate but quick distribution from the base of the ruck and vision in kicking tactically. Although no longer possessing the pace to threaten opposition around the fringes, Stringer has worked wonderfully in tandem with fly-half Danny Cipriani in orchestrating Sale's backline with the Sharks having been noticeably more potent and threatening in attack with Stringer-Cipriani as the half-back combination, due to the quick service Stringer is able to offer Cipriani et al. allowing Sale to play on the front foot more frequently.
Re-signing Stringer now allows Sale some security at the scrum-half position going into 2016-17. Former England U20 representative James Mitchell is still likely not ready for full-time Premiership duty whilst the contract status of fellow nine Chris Cusiter remains up in the air. Regardless of whether Cusiter re-signs or not however, Stringer is a key component of the Sharks' ever-improving backline and an experienced clubhouse leader in the Sale first team, meaning therefore, that like James, Addison, Jennings, and Seymour in recent weeks, this is an important deal for Sale to have finalised.
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