Sale Sharks sign Michael Paterson, Kirill Kulemin and Charlie Walker-Blair for next season
Last Updated: 29/04/13 8:26am
Sale have announced three new additions to their forward line for next season after confirming that Richie Gray is leaving to join Castres.
Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has completed the signings of Michael Paterson, Kirill Kulemin and Charlie Walker-Blair, and he hopes to tie up more new faces by the end of the week.
New Zealand-born No 8 Paterson has been lured from Cardiff Blues, where he was recently voted the club's player of the season, and he has agreed terms on a three-year contract.
Diamond has also raided relegated London Welsh to sign former Castres lock Kulemin - with the Russian set to fill the void left by Scotland international Gray, who had been linked with a move to Castres.
Diamond almost signed flanker Walker-Blair when he first took over at the Sharks two years ago, but he has finally got his man and is looking forward to working with all three next season.
"All three are very important signings for us," said Diamond. "Michael has been outstanding for Cardiff and has been one of their key players over the past few seasons.
"Cardiff were very keen to retain him and he will be a really key addition to our pack next season. Though Michael has played at number eight predominantly this season for Cardiff, going forward I see him more as a lock for us.
"In terms of Kiril I know him very well from working with him with the Russian national side. He has played very well for London Welsh this season and has a huge physical presence.
"He also has massive experience from his time with Castres. He played very well against us too earlier this season.
"As for Charlie, he is someone that we have had our eyes on for quite a while now. He was out for a year with a knee injury but has totally recovered from that and has been playing really well with Jersey.
"He's a really talented number six and is a really big, imposing lad and he will also add a lot to our pack."