It took over eight months since the official opening of the window for player transfers for the 2015-16 season, but Sale Sharks have today finally made the statement signing fans of the club have been longing for all year.
10 long weeks after the Rugby Paper initially broke that the story that a deal was being negotiated, earlier this morning (Friday) Sale finally confirmed they have signed ex-Racing Metro and Northampton Saints Tighthead Prop Brian Mujati to a two-year deal in spectacular fashion:
This is a great signing.
Although some concerns have been raised about Mujati's recently discovered penchant for body-building that have seen some doubt his long-term commitment to rugby, and his slight decrease in effectiveness as a prop since the new scrum laws were established in 2013, you know what?
It doesn't fucking matter.
After nearly two years of being solely dependant on Vadim Cobilas to hold down the right side of the Sharks' scrum, Sale have finally, finally, signed another actual, (not-a-converted-loosehead) Tighthead who can rotate with their Moldovan Prop and ease the Herculean burden the 32-year old Cobilas has been forced to shoulder in recent seasons.
It doesn't matter if Mujati is now more interested in bodybuilding than professional rugby union (which Mujati himself implied on his Life of Brian vlogs stemmed from his discontent at his situation playing in France and should therefore not follow him back to England).
It doesn't matter if he isn't quite the dominant Tighthead he was at Northampton that made him a fan-favourite at Northampton and saw him win 12 caps for South Africa.
What matters is that Sale finally have another Premiership calibre Tighthead prop who can more than hold his own at the top level and rotate seamlessly with the aforementioned Cobilas to form an effective duo that will play a key role in Sale's forwards-heavy gameplan this season.
In one swoop, Sale have turned their single greatest weakness from last season into a huge position of strength.
They now have two dominant Tighthead Props to play week-in, week-out in both the Premiership and Europe and a very promising prospect in 19 year-old Ciaran Parker who has already cut his teeth at Premiership level, developing in the wings to eventually supersede the pair in the future.
No disrespect to Bryan Evans, Neil Briggs or Peter Stringer, but Brian Mujati is the first calibre of signing by Sale in 2015 to really put the Premiership on notice.
If Steve Diamond can somehow secure additional players of Mujati's level of talent, experience and prestige to fill the gaps at Lock and Winger before the season starts, perhaps my prediction of a 9th place Premiership finish for Sale in 2015/16 will no longer be relevant.
Lewis Hughes got so sick of waiting for Mujati to be signed that he actually wrote this piece at the start of August and updated it this morning. Please do follow SharkTankRugby on Twitter here or Lewis' personal Instagram here