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Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Monday, 9 May 2011 16:49 UK

Sale Sharks confirm the departure of 21 players

Steve Diamond
Diamond has already signed 11 new players ahead of next season

Sale Sharks have confirmed that 21 players and four members of the backroom staff will leave the club.

Executive director of sport Steve Diamond had promised major changes since his arrival in January.

"Such a wholesale change of players and coaching staff is necessary considering the performances of the club in the last two seasons," he said.

"With a couple of exceptions, the club declined to make offers to the departing players and staff."

Some of the players released, such as Charlie Hodgson , Chris Bell and Chris Jones have already secured clubs for next season but the rest now find themselves without a contract.

The confirmed list of players leaving is: Chris Bell, Asaeli Boko, Chris Brightwell, Sean Cox, Ben Cohen , Rhys Crane, Carl Fearns, Jack Forster, Charlie Hodgson, Matty James, Chris Jones, Sisaro Koyamaibole, Selorm Kuadey, Chris Leck, Neil McMillan, Simon McIntyre, Fergus Mulchrone, Kristian Ormsby, Nic Rouse, Eifion Roberts and Mathew Tait .

Such a wholesale change of players and coaching staff is necessary considering the performances of the club

Director of sport Steve Diamond

The backroom staff leaving are conditioner Peter Finch, backs coach Byron Hayward and analysts Dan Lyne and Andrew Vernon.

Sharks chief executive Mick Hogan said: "The whole club are excited by the calibre of the new signings and re-signings the club have made on and off the pitch.

"There are still a number of signings and re-signings to be announced in the next fortnight.

"By the start of June, all players and coaches will be in place to start pre-season conditioning at at Carrington in readiness for the 2011/12 season at Edgeley Park."

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