Steve Diamond is re-joining Sale Sharks as executive director of sport
Sale Sharks have appointed former coach Steve Diamond to oversee all rugby-related matters at the club.
The 42-year-old ex-Sale player takes up his new post at Edgeley Park, having guided the Russian national side to this year's World Cup in New Zealand.
The former hooker's role will include coaching, recruitment and performance, working alongside current head coach Pete Anglesea.
Diamond, who made 290 appearances for Sale, begins his new job on 1 February.
After joining the club as a player in 1990, he went on to join the coaching staff in 2001, alongside current Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder, and led the Sharks to second place in the Premiership and victory in the
European Challenge Cup.
Diamond told the club's website: "I am thrilled to be back at Sale Sharks and cannot wait to get started.
"Whilst there is a lot to do with regards to the recruitment of both players and support staff for next season I am aware that we still have lots to play for this year.
"We have the core of a very good young squad here whose potential really does enthuse me.
"If we can keep them together, recruit other talent around them and establish the right culture that means they are playing to their full potential, we will be successful."
During his previous tenure at Edgeley Park he signed Kevin Yates, ex-Scotland international back row Jason White and England prop Andrew Sheridan.
He left the North West to become director of rugby at Saracens and then head of recruitment at Northampton.
Sharks owner Brian Kennedy added: "I am absolutely delighted to welcome Steve back to Sale Sharks, a club that I know means so much to him.
"Over the past few weeks we have had enormous interest in the role from some world class candidates from all over the world.
"However once Steve expressed his desire to join I knew there would be only one man for the job."
Diamond's appointment increases the likelihood that Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones will leave the club at the end of the season.
The former Wales captain recently told BBC Wales' Scrum V programme: "For the next six to eight weeks, I'm going to have a look at what opportunities are out there if there are any, but in this job it's all about timing.
"There's a job there for me at Sale which I'm thankful for but maybe it's time for me to look at another challenge."