Sharks move Irish game to Bolton

The Stockport-based club were crowned Premiership champions in 2006

but their fortunes have flagged in recent seasons and attendances

at Edgeley Park have steadily fallen. The match against Irish will

be played on Saturday, April 16 and will kick-off at 5.30pm, and is

seen as a positive step towards marketing the club to the wider

north-west sporting community. Sale attracted fewer than 8,000

spectators to their opening two home games of the season but they

are targeting a 28,200-sell-out at the Reebok next spring. Sale

chief executive Mick Hogan said: “This announcement is the

culmination of nearly 12 months’ work to enable us to announce this

event. “We now have seven months to achieve a sell out crowd, and I

truly believe that there are almost 30,000 people in the north-west

who would like to attend a live game of Sale Sharks’ rugby. “We

want to show the north-west some real ambition and give the region

a rugby team that they can truly be proud to support.” Sale

fly-half Charlie Hodgson said: “As a player, you want to be play

rugby on the biggest stage. “To have the opportunity to play for

Sale Sharks at one of the UK’s great stadiums will be a fantastic

honour for the players who are selected. “Having begun my career

with the club in front of 1,800 people at Heywood Road, it’s

absolutely amazing to think that we will be playing a home match at

a world class stadium in front of 28,200 people.”