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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
All Black McAlister to join Sale
Luke McAlister
McAlister spent 10 years of his childhood in Manchester
Luke McAlister has become the latest All Black to head to the Premiership after turning down Munster and Toulouse to join Sale on a two-year deal.

Centre McAlister, 23, will come to England after the World Cup, as will international team-mates Aaron Mauger, Carl Hayman and Chris Jack.

Sharks boss Philippe Saint-Andre said: "Luke is one of the world's best young players, and can play at 10, 12 or 13.

"With him and Charlie Hodgson, we have two fantastic playmakers."

Saint-Andre said he hoped signing McAlister would "help us become a dominant force in northern-hemisphere rugby".

606: DEBATE

As well as Mauger at Leicester, Hayman at Newcastle and Jack at Saracens, scrum-half Byron Kelleher has agreed terms with French club Agen while Anton Oliver will move to Toulon.

Winger Rico Gear, who was left out of the All Blacks World Cup squad, will join Worcester next season.

Joining an English club, where salaries are higher than in New Zealand, means the players cannot play for the All Blacks, although they could all go back home in time for the 2011 World Cup.

McAlister, capped 19 times, lived in Manchester for 10 years while his father Charlie played rugby league for Oldham, Castleford and Sheffield Eagles.

The Auckland Blues star is also a former member of the Manchester United academy.

McAlister's deal is sponsored by one of Sale's main backers, property group Bluemantle.

Sale are also keen to add McAlister Sr to their backroom staff.

Head coach Kingsley Jones said: "This is a great signing, and hopefully we can make it a double if Luke's father Charlie decides to join us as part of the coaching team.

"We have been chasing him since last December, and hopefully he will decide to join us in the near future."



SEE ALSO
NZ star Gear signs for Worcester
18 Jun 07 |  Worcester
Kiwi Kelleher signs for Toulouse
07 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
NZ exodus turns into a flood
04 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Exiles swoop for NZ prop Dermody
03 May 07 |  London Irish
NZ lock Jack signs for Saracens
21 Apr 07 |  Saracens
Newcastle sign All Black Hayman
18 Apr 07 |  Newcastle
Kiwi Tuitupou to join Worcester
02 Apr 07 |  Worcester
Leicester sign All Black Mauger
29 Jan 07 |  Leicester


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