Sale Sharks have announced the signing of Scotland International Josh Strauss on a three-year deal as of next season.
The backrow forward has spent three years at PRO12 side Glasgow Warriors and qualified for the Scotland national side during that stint, despite being born in South Africa.
He is the first signing to be announced for next term, and Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said he is delighted to have sealed Strauss’ signature.
“Anybody who watches rugby know he’s a big, abrasive lad who is playing at international level,” said Diamond.
“He’s hardworking, industrious, and a ball carrier, which is what we’ve been looking for. He wanted to experience something different and come to the Premiership, and we’re delighted he’s said yes.”
Strauss follows in the footsteps of fellow countryman Byron McGuigan, who also qualifies for Scotland, after his arrival from the Warriors last summer.
When explaining how the move came about for the six-foot-four number eight, Diamond highlighted the key role McGuigan played in his recruitment.
“He knows Byron well, who told him it’s a good environment here at Sale and so we went to meet him,” Diamond explained.
“I know he’s had a good time at Glasgow but these are the signings we want to make over the next two or three years. He thought it was the right move for him and we’re delighted.”
The arrival of Strauss could potentially threaten club captain Josh Beaumont’s position in the side but Diamond was quick to point out the importance of strength in depth, as well as noting the Englishman’s versatility.
“Beaumont can always be utilised in the lock, but Strauss can play six as well as eight,” he said.
“It gives us strength in depth because we’ve got TJ Ioane, the Curry boys, and Cameron Neild too. It’s like have two players instead of one when they can play several positions.”
After sealing his move to the northwest of England, Strauss has since revealed that he only opted to stay for another year at the Warriors in order to qualify for Scotland’s international setup under residency rules.
Now that he has earned 10 caps for Vern Cotter’s side, helping them move up to an all-time high of fifth in the world rankings, Strauss felt it was the right time to secure a move to the Premiership – the 30-year-old is still eligible for international selection.
Strauss will see out the final five months of his Glasgow contract before joining Sale Sharks in the summer.