Solomona completes controversial switch to Sale
English Premiership side Sale acted honourably in signing Super League record try-scorer Denny Solomona their director of rugby claimed yesterday, despite Castleford Tigers threatening legal action.
The 23-year-old New Zealand-born wing signed a three year contract with Sale after the Samoan international ‘resigned’ with two years remaining on his contract at Castleford. Solomona-who last season scored 40 tries, breaking Lesley Vainikolo’s 12-year-old record for a Super League season-is likely to make his debut in the European Champions Cup pool game with title holders Saracens on Sunday. Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby, defended the club’s signing of Solomona saying he knew of two other rugby union clubs who had been offered his services. “We’ve never wanted to go down the route of getting into any legal battles,” said Diamond.
“We just wanted the deal done and I’m sure the powers that be are getting on with that as we speak. “I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong at all to be perfectly honest. “Players have agents and agents put players up on the market place. “There were two other rugby union clubs that I know of who were in the market to sign Denny Solomona. “We’ve just got to bite our lip and get on with it and be candid. We’ve got nothing to hide.” Diamond, whose side are presently third from bottom of the English Premiership after 10 matches, said Castleford would have lost Solomona whatever had happened as he was determined to switch codes.
“He said he wanted to play the game he grew up with,” said Diamond. “If it wasn’t a club in England, he was going to go back to Auckland. “In all honesty, the situation has been blown out of proportion.
“These things happen in sport every week where players move around. It’s behaving professional and getting it done.” Diamond is positively purring at the thought of the impact Solomona will have.
“He is a great player,” said Diamond. “He has an eye for scoring tries and has the added bonus of having played rugby union in his time at school and college.”
Solomona, who played rugby union for Melbourne Academy but was released by Melbourne Storm prompting his decision to try rugby league, is the second rugby league star to join Sale in recent weeks with fellow winger Josh Charnley signing from Super League title winners Wigan. — AFP