We have our mystery signing!
Magnus Lund of course is well-known to Sale fans, having broken into the first team from the academy as a 19 year-old way back in 2002. Lund was with Sale for six years including the sole Premiership Title win in 2006 before leaving for Biarritz in 2008. However with the French club's relegation from the Pro 14 last season, it would appear Lund had a clause in his contract allowing for his release which paved the way for a return back home.
I'm torn on this signing however.
I'll start with the good; Lund is English (good for EQP) and is a quality depth signing.
But that's really it. I'll admit I think adding a player like Lund is an excellent move for depth, giving Sale another option for a depleted back-row and furthering increasing the talent pool Diamond can pick from, however Lund has spent nearly all his career playing Openside Flanker, a position which Sale already have two starting-calibre players in Dan Braid and David Seymour, one of whom, Braid, is already being forced to play out of position at Blindside.
Whilst Lund fits the mould of a traditional 7 more than either Braid or Seymour, I can't help but think Sale should have looked to invest in an area that they didn't already have a lot of starting quality, i.e. Blindside Flanker, No.8 or wing.
Is Lund better than Dave Seymour or Dan Braid, Sale's incumbent flankers? Probably not and considering Seymour and Braid's cohesion and effectiveness playing alongside one another since Braid's arrival last year, it would suggest Lund may not even be first-choice for the club next season.
Also Lund is already 31 and has been playing top-class rugby for 12 years now. The Nathan Hines (wink) of the game are rare, how much does Lund have left in the tank? Will he give Sale a number of years still at the top of his game or has he spent his peak in France and is only on a downward trajectory from here? Again I do not know but it is a concern.
I think also that I am justified in feeling slightly underwhelmed. It is unfair to pin that on Lund who is still a good player, and it is unfair to pin it on Sale who have said nothing about a new signing until their announcement this morning, but Steve Hanley's tweet way back at the start of July promising a "great signing that will shock a few" along with some of the speculation over on the Sale board perhaps had me dreaming slightly too big. Sale being linked to names like Adam Jones, Carl Fearns, Kurtley Beale, Andrew Sheridan etc. set me up, quite frankly, for disappointment. Lund is a decent signing, but not quite the star calibre player, I and I'm sure many others were hoping for.
So to summarise, I like Lund as a depth signing, he offers Sale a more 'traditional' Openside for the team, he's English which helps Sale's EQP cause, will add further competition to a very competitive pack and his experience at the top levels will also help Sale in the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup campaign. But could Sale have looked to invest in an area where they don't have as much talent already? I believe so especially as its unlikely Lund will play much No.8 or Wing for Sale this season.