Sanderson becomes Sale Sharks Director of Rugby
After a 17-year association with Saracens, the club can today confirm Alex Sanderson will depart to take up the position as Sale Sharks Director of Rugby.
The 41-year-old joined Sarries from Sale as a player in 2004 and has made an instrumental impact since becoming part of the coaching team in the 2008/09 season.
Amongst many contributions on and off the training field, he has transformed the Men in Black’s defence into a formidable force and leaves behind the Wolfpack mentality which will forever be instilled at Saracens.
Sanderson heads back to the North West to take on the challenge of the first lead role of his coaching career, having played over 100 times for Sale between 1998 and 2004.
With the move, Sanderson becomes the latest of a long line of former Saracens coaches and players who have gone on to coach in lead jobs at top-flight clubs and at international level, something the club is extremely proud of given its huge emphasis on the strength and development of its coaching and support team.
“Alex has an enormous heart and huge character. He will always be a dear friend of the club,” said Saracens CEO Lucy Wray.
“I know this was a tough decision for Alex, but we completely understand his desire to take on a new challenge and take the next step in his coaching career. As we do with our players, we want to continue to nurture our coaches and promote from within. Thank you, Alex, for everything you have given to Saracens, both physically and emotionally. You and your family are always welcome back to StoneX Stadium.”
“It is nearly impossible to quantify the impact Al has had on every member of the playing squad at Saracens.”
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “Few people have been as central to the Saracens story as Alex. His drive, ambition and personality are woven into the very fabric of the club.
“He is one of the leading Coaches of his generation, blending comprehensive technical and tactical knowledge with an in depth understanding of the people in his care. His creativity, ability to articulate message and ferocious desire to improve players, sets the standard of what it is to be a modern day coach.
“Away from the field, Alex is loved by everyone at the club. Honest, kind-hearted and generous, he is considered by many a dear friend. He is also a dedicated family man and we wish him, Emma, and Ty every success in the future. Thank you, Alex, for all you have done for our club.” ‘
Talking on behalf of the current playing squad, Jamie George said: “It is nearly impossible to quantify the impact Al has had on every member of the playing squad at Saracens. He comes into work every day with a desire and passion to make the group the best they possibly can be.
“Where Al is different to others is the strong connection he has with the entire squad, he has taken a genuine interest in every player on and off the field and of course will be remembered for his weird and whacky ways of getting messages across to the group. On behalf of the playing squad, I would like to thank Al for showing us what it takes to be the best and wish him, Emma and Ty the very best in their move back to Manchester.”
Saracens owner Nigel Wray added: “All my family will miss you Alex, and indeed will miss all your family, Emma, Ty, your Mum and Dad… but we will always be friends. We will always be close friends. Thanks for those many years and the very best wishes for the future”.
A fantastic coach and, more importantly, a fantastic human, everyone at Saracens would like to thank Alex for everything he has done for the club over a prolonged period and wish him every bit of success in his new venture.