And then there was two.
Earlier today Sale Sharks officially announced the signing of ex-Bath and Munster and former Irish international scrum-half Peter Stringer on a one-year deal. Stringer joins a returning Neil Briggs as the newest members of Sale's playing squad as the Sharks look to retool their squad ahead of next season.
Stringer at age 37, has represented his native Ireland 98 times and has enjoyed a storied career with Munster, Saracens, Newcastle and Bath, the latter of whom he has made 18 appearances for as the West Country club secured a play-off berth.
With both Will Cliff and Nathan Fowles departing the Sharks for pastures new this summer, there was an obvious void in the Sale squad at replacement scrum-half that likely comes a year early for 20 year-old James Mitchell.
Stringer then, with his contract at Bath now being renewed, was an obvious fit and one in my mind is a very astute pickup for Sale.
Bath supporters have not been shy in expressing their admiration for the departing scrum-half and Stringer's prominent role in helping Bath finish the Premiership season in 2nd place.
Stringer, even at age 37, is renowned as one of the fittest players in the entire Premiership and his characteristically quick passing and style of game-management has remained at the sharpest of levels even as he enters his 18th professional season. There should be no significant drop-off next year between incumbent starter Chris Cusiter and Stringer and Stringer's linkup play with Cipriani could prove decisive as Sale look to close out more games victorious in 2015/16.
Overall Stringer fills an important gap within the Sharks first team ahead of next season and he should also offer valuable experience to James Mitchell when the latter steps up to replace Stringer in future seasons.
Also included in the Stringer press release was confirmation that Sale and Loosehead Prop Alberto Di Marchi have mutually agreed to terminate the latter's contract.
Di Marchi, despite being an Italian International, failed to make a substantial impact in his only season with the Sharks mainly due to Steve Diamond's insistence on attempting to convert him to Tighthead. With Eifon Lewis-Roberts, Ross Harrison and James Flynn already available at Loosehead, terminating Di Marchi's contract should allow valuable funds to be redistributed towards finding another Tighthead prop to back up Cobilas which is probably in the best interests for all parties. Di Marchi, I am told, is likely heading back to Treviso.