England prop Andrew Sheridan has ended speculation about his playing future by deciding to stay with Sale Sharks.
Sheridan, who joined Sale from Bristol in 2003, has extended his existing Sharks contract to remain at Edgeley Park for another season.
The 31-year-old powerhouse scrummager had been linked with a lucrative move to France, following the likes of his fellow England internationals Jonny Wilkinson, Tom Palmer and James Haskell.
But Sale, who announced the return of their former coach Steve Diamond as executive director of sport earlier today, have sealed Sheridan's signature.
A move to France could have seen Sheridan fall foul of the RFU's decision to not select players plying their trade overseas after this year's World Cup in New Zealand, but his new deal effectively secures his international future until next summer.
Diamond, who is currently in New Zealand, said it was his intention to build a team around the likes of Sheridan and England wing Mark Cueto, the recently-appointed Sale captain.
Sheridan, capped 36 times, toured with the 2005 and 2009 British and Irish Lions. He also played for England in the 2007 World Cup final against South Africa.
Diamond said: "I am very pleased Andrew has re-signed for the club.
"I remember watching him develop as a player and knew he was going to be one of the best as his career progressed.
"I have followed his progress with interest, and I am looking to build a team around 'Sherri' and Mark Cueto, who has also been a loyal servant to the club down the years."
Sale chief executive Mick Hogan added: "This is a massive statement of intent by the club and Andrew.
"Steve Diamond signed him back in 2003, and once Andrew knew about Steve's return he was delighted to put pen to paper.
"Inevitably there was a lot of interest in his signature, and I do know that he has turned down some big offers from a number of other clubs.
"He is one of the best prop forwards in the world, and we are thrilled he has made this commitment to stay with us."
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- Andrew Sheridan
- British And Irish Lions Tour
- Jonny Wilkinson
- Mike Phillips (Rugby Player)