Seveali'i joins lengthy injury list to deepen Sale pain

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The Independent Online

Sale have suffered yet another injury blow with the loss of their Samoan centre Elvis Seveali'i for at least three months.

Seveali'i damaged his shoulder playing for the Pacific Islanders against Ireland in Dublin last Sunday. He joins the England fly-half Charlie Hodgson and Scotland flanker Jason White on the sidelines and neither will play again this season due to serious knee injuries suffered during the autumn Test schedule.

Hodgson's England colleague Andrew Sheridan sustained a fractured ankle and ligament damage during the victory over South Africa earlier this month, and could also be out until next term.

On top of the injuries, the prop Ben Evans is also absent, until 19 December, while he serves a three-week ban after being cited for stamping. Evans was cited following an incident in Sale's game against Newcastle Falcons at Edgeley Park on 17 November.

Llanelli Scarlets have secured a new financial backer to safeguard the region's short-term future. Just hours after receiving a rescue offer from the Welsh Rugby Union, the Scarlets announced they had struck a deal with businessman Tim Griffiths.

The region had been seeking extra funding to cover the cost of the delay in moving to a new stadium. The Scarlets want to build 450 houses on their Stradey Park ground, as part of plans for a new 15,000-seater stadium at Pemberton but the plan was put on hold by the Government.

"We are very pleased to have reached agreement with Tim," the Scarlets chief executive, Stuart Gallacher, said. "It will provide us with immediate financial resources to help see us through until the early part of next year and with it the opportunity to get a positive decision on our new stadium. We will still be seeking further funding for the Scarlets including studying the detail of today's WRU proposal."

Griffiths will be given a place on the Scarlets board as a result of his "substantial financial investment". He is chief executive of Williams Lea, a £450m turnover global company, and said that losing the Scarlets would be "devastating blow". "It is clear that without the new stadium the Scarlets will cease to exist, which would be a tragedy for the area and for Welsh rugby," he said.

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