This week reports emerged that Irish out-half Paddy Jackson was on the verge of signing a contract with Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks, with centre Stuart Olding also expected to join the club. Jackson's move would have repercussions for Sale's current out-half, Irishman AJ McGinty.
The Telegraph reported that Jackson had signed a bargain contract worth less than £200,000 with Sale, with similar expected for Olding. In the aftermath, the club released a statement claiming there was 'no substance' to the reports, although as was pointed out this week they have done similar in the past only to go ahead and sign the player concerned.
Worth noting that this time last year Sale flat out denied they were signing Faf de Klerk and James O'Connor, before signing both. https://t.co/x30DNpAeY3
— Neil Treacy (@neil_treacy) May 2, 2018
We’re on air now @btsportrugby w 2 games simultaneously from 4pm Newc/Wasps & Sale/Leics.. sun beating down at the AJBell, big stakes re Champions Cup qualification & Steve Diamond denying Paddy Jackson will be a Sharks player. Sure.
— Alastair Eykyn (@alastaireykyn) May 5, 2018
One man who will also be affected by this move, should it transpire, is former Connacht out-half AJ McGinty. McGinty was born in Dublin and went to school in Blackrock before embarking on a successful stint in America which ultimately saw him represent the United States in rugby. After a year with Connacht he moved to Sale to replace Danny Cipriani, and has been a regular since.
When discussing the issue on BT Sport, Ugo Monye claimed McGinty is the most improved player this year. The panel in the studio expanded on this to discuss the rumors impact on McGinty, with Craig Doyle feeling sympathy for the out-half.
The rumor mill is pretty strong. Rugby is a small family and we all have a good sense of what is going on. We feel we know what might be going on in this case. Paddy Jackson rumored to have had conversations with Sale and they've progressed quite far. Who knows what is going to happen, but the guy I feel sorry for is AJ McGinty because he has been absolutely brilliant for Sale this season. Kicking well, dictating play well.
This was something former England second row Ben Kay felt should spur McGinty on:
As a professional rugby player, you can't think you are going to be the only player in your position. These are quality players they are looking to bring in, albeit if we believe the rumours they are a cut-price deal for the standard of player that they are which is why it would be attractive to Steve Diamond. But he's got to sit there and say; I'm better than Paddy Jackson.
"He's got to sit there and say; I'm better than Paddy Jackson."
With rumours swirling about new recruits at Sale, what does the future have in store for AJ MacGinty? ?
The former Connacht fly-half has had an outstanding season ? pic.twitter.com/RMsKx1Ulll
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 5, 2018