Sharks stalwart forced to quit

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The Independent Online

Steve Hanley has been forced to retire from playing due to a back injury sustained in a game against French club Bayonne last season.

Hanley announced his retirement to the audience at his Testimonial Launch at Edgeley Park.

The wing joined Sale Sharks in 1998 from Aspatria and made his debut against Cardiff,  playing 191 games for the Sharks scoring 104 tries including a record of 75 in the Premiership which still stands.

Hanley also played for England in 1999 against Wales at Wembley and scored a try.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sale Sharks and have some great memories playing for the club. Helping the club to its first piece of silverware in 2002, by beating Pontypridd was very special. I have however been struggling with a disc problem in my back, since the Bayonne game and have received medical advice in that I will not recover enough to be able to play Premiership rugby again.

“Sale Sharks have been good to me and I have always given my best for the team.”

Hanley’s former team mate Jason Robinson said: ” It was a pleasure to play in the same team as Steve, he is a great lad and as his statistics show, one of the best finishers in the game.”

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