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Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Friday, 21 January 2011

Sale Sharks confirm Kingsley Jones departure

Kinglsey Jones
Kingsley Jones won the Premiership title with Sale in 2006

Sale Sharks have confirmed that director of rugby Kingsley Jones will leave at the end of January after almost seven years at the club.

Jones, who helped lead Sale to the Premiership title in 2006, has been forwards coach and head coach before taking up his current role in 2009.

He said: "I have had a very fulfilling and rewarding time at the club and it is now right to move on.

"I will be looking to get back into a role with more hands on coaching."

Jones, a former flanker, moved to Cheshire after a brief stint coaching Doncaster to become forwards coach alongside Phillip Saint-Andre.

It marked the most successful period in the club's history as they went from claiming the European Challenge Cup in 2005 to taking the Premiership title in 2006 and progressed to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

"Whilst I have enjoyed my off-field role this season, my real passion lies with coaching," Jones continued.

We will always be grateful for the loyalty, passion, experience and skills that Kingsley brought to this club

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy

"I leave on very good terms with the club and would like to thank the owners Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst for giving me such a great opportunity.

"I would also like to thank all the players, staff, fellow board members, supporters and sponsors who I have met and worked with over the past seven years for their support."

Last week, Sale appointed former coach Steve Diamond to oversee all rugby-related matters at the club.

"I wish Steve Diamond, the players and the coaching staff all the best for the remainder of this season and beyond," Jones added.

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy said: "Kingsley has been a wonderful servant to the club over the years.

"It is down to Kingsley and Philippe Saint-Andre that they took on a group of players and turned them into Premiership champions.

"It was the first time in our club's history that this had been achieved and Sale Sharks are the only club other than Leicester and Wasps to be English Champions since 1998.

"We will always be grateful for the loyalty, passion, experience and skills that Kingsley brought to this club.

"However we recognise and respect his desire to get back into coaching and realise that for him to do this effectively then now is the best time to depart.

"Everyone at the club wishes Kingsley and his family all the best in the future and he will always be a welcome guest whenever he returns to Sale Sharks."

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see also
Sale bring back ex-coach Diamond
13 Jan 11 |  Sale
Jones to consider future at Sale
10 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Head coach Brewer sacked by Sale
23 Dec 10 |  Sale
Jones aims for Sharks in top six
19 Aug 10 |  Sale
Saint-Andre to quit as Sale boss
04 Dec 08 |  Sale

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