Solomona com­pletes con­tro­ver­sial switch to Sale

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

Denny Solomona

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