MacGinty to replace Cipriani at Sale

Sale Sharks have continued to rebuild their side for next season with the announcement that USA fly-half AJ MacGinty will join the club.

The 26-year-old was born in Dublin and attended Blackrock College before moving to the USA on a visa. He studied for a Masters Degree in Sport Health Science and played rugby for Life Running Eagles.

He was a stand-out player for the USA in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and signed for Connacht after the competition ended and has been one of Connacht's most consistent players this season as they top the PRO12.

In the World Cup MacGinty started all three of USA's group games kicking 25 points bringing his tally to 90 in 8 appearances.

"We were alerted to AJ during the World Cup and we have been watching his performances at Connacht. He is by far the best fly-half in the PRO12; great in defence and has an 80 percent success rate kicking his points. I am sure that when he works with Paul Deacon here at Sharks he will become the finished article. He will be great addition to the squad and we are looking forward to AJ joining us pre-season," said director of rugby Steve Diamond.

Commenting on signing for Sale Sharks, MacGinty said: "I am very excited to be joining Sale Sharks next season. They are a club with great ambitions and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead."

He also thanked Connacht by saying: "I have really enjoyed my time at Connacht and would like to thank all the coaches, players, fans and staff for their support. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude to Pat Lam and I look forward to finishing the season as strong as possible."