Fourie hangs up his boots
Sale and England flanker Hendre Fourie has been forced to retire after losing his battle to recover from a shoulder injury.
The South Africa-born 33-year-old made eight senior appearances for England, with his last coming in the victory over Ireland in Dublin prior to the 2011 World Cup.
Fourie joined Sale from Leeds in 2011 but barely saw any action for the club due to injury, and he is to be replaced in the Sharks squad by former All Black Daniel Braid, who has signed up until the end of the season.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "Unfortunately, Hendre has had to retire. We got the final confirmation last week after taking medical advice.
"As a club we have backed Hendre 100 per cent in his battle to get fit but unfortunately, his shoulder has not recovered. His body has been battered so much that the shoulder won't recover."
On the signing of Braid, Diamond said: "Dan joins us at a critical stage of our season. He is a hard working flanker who tackles well and reads the game well too.
"He arrived in the UK on New Year's Day and came to Carrington this morning to meet his new team-mates. He is an important signing for us and I am sure he will fit in perfectly."
Braid, 31, is relishing his opportunity with the bottom-placed side in the Aviva Premiership.
He said: "It's great to get the opportunity to come to Europe and play a different style of rugby and live a different lifestyle.
"I know [Sale centre] Sam Tuitupou quite well. We played school age rugby together back in New Zealand and with Auckland and the Blues, so he's given me a few tips.
"And I also spoke to Luke McAlister who used to play for Sale Sharks and he was really complimentary about the club.
"When I knew I was coming here I went on-line and had a look at the squad and some of the names here such as Sam and Danny Cipriani - and to see where Sale are in the table was a bit of a shock.
"But there are still quite a few games to go and with the win against Worcester, hopefully it's a case of onwards and upwards."