Jono Ross: Sale Sharks stalwart agrees early release from contract as retirement in South Africa beckons
Former Sale Sharks captain Jono Ross has called time on his rugby career, bringing an early end to his current contract at the Premiership club.
The 32-year-old crowd favourite has played more than 150 matches for Sale since his debut in 2017 and is set to return to South Africa with his family.
After signing from Stade Francais, Ross impressed and subsequently was given the club captaincy in 2018, thanks to his natural leadership capabilities.
He was skipper for five seasons before handing the reins to Ben Curry this season. Ross has now decided to retire at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
Special place in our hearts
“Since joining the club in 2017, Sale and Manchester have really become a home away from home for my family and I,” he told the Sharks’ official website.
“We’ve absolutely loved our time at the club and in Manchester. Both our children have been born here so it will forever have a special place in our hearts.”
“I would like to thank Simon, Michelle, Ged and Sid for their support over the years as well as the coaches at the club for putting up with me and giving me the opportunity to play the game I love in a great environment.
“To all of the backroom staff, physios, strength and conditioning coaches, kit men, chefs and everyone else, a huge thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into me.
“To the Sharks fans, thank you for the support over my six years here. You are all fantastic. Please keep behind the lads as you really do make a resounding difference on the pitch. It’s been a great ride and I will miss running out at the AJ Bell but at some point your body tells you when it’s time to stop, and for me that time is now.
“I am hugely excited for what’s to come next, but you can be sure I’ll be watching the boys continue to grow from a far. Hopefully in the sun with a beer in hand!”
Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson heaped praise on one of the Premiership‘s fiercest-ever competitors, hailing his tactical knowledge.
Hasn’t all been plain sailing
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Jono and during his time at the club, he has epitomised everything Sale Sharks stand for both on and off the pitch,” he said.
“When you get to know Jono, you realise he is a very clever bloke. Despite the levels of physicality he offers on the pitch, he’s more than just muscle. His tactical knowledge of the game is second to none and his emotional intelligence sets him apart as a player which is why he has been our captain for five consecutive seasons.
“Throughout his time at the club, Jono has used those skills to communicate on behalf of the players, often to the detriment of himself. If I’m being honest, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. We’ve had some deep and heated conversations but through mutual respect have always worked things out. I’m grateful for all those moments, both good and bad, as it’s helped me develop into a better coach over the past few seasons.
“Despite his serious demeanour, Jono always has a joke up his sleeve and is one of the nicest and most respectful guys in the game. He will be sorely missed by everyone at the Sharks. We wish him the very best for the future.”
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The article Jono Ross: Sale Sharks stalwart agrees early release from contract as retirement in South Africa beckons appeared first on Planetrugby.com.