Rugby star Chabal signs new deal

French rugby star Sebastien Chabal has rebuffed contract offers from clubs in France and put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Manchester-based Sale Sharks.

The Sharks are 8/1 to win the 2008 Guinness Premiership.

The hulk-like Chabal was coach Philippe Saint-Andre's first signing for Sale in 2004. In his time at Edgeley Park the bearded forward has become a highly popular figure in south Manchester.

"I have really enjoyed my spell in England and am able to get on with playing rugby, which I enjoy," said Chabal. "If I lived and played in France, I think my wife would go crazy with all the supporter attention I receive there."

Rugby star Chabal signs new dealChabal´s wild rugged looks have earned him a popular reputation with the ladies.

The signing is a major boost to the club after Jason Robinson retired in the summer. They also secured All Blacks centre Luke McAlister on a two year-contract after impressing in the World Cup.

Sale´s chief exec James Jennings could not hide his delight: "Sebastian Chabal's decision to stay at Sale Sharks is testament to how world-class players like 'Seabass' view Sale as a more attractive option than other leading European clubs.

"Sebastian Chabal is currently the best known and most popular sports personality in France, but he has opted to commit his future to Sale for the next two years at least.

"We are delighted that 'Seabass' is staying with the club and look forward to enjoying many more seasons of his dynamic and attacking style of play."

Chabal's new deal with the Sharks includes the option of a third year.