Sale Sharks rebuilding plans for next season have been handed a huge double boost with the news of a new deal for lock Jonathan Mills and the signing of former Sharks favourite Neil Briggs.
Combative second row enforcer Mills, who joined Sale from London Welsh in the summer of 2013, has signed a new two-year deal.
Hooker Briggs, 29, meanwhile, who played more than 100 times for Sale between 2005 and 2011, is returning to the North West from Leicester and has penned a two-year contract with the Sharks.
The former England Saxons star was one of the most popular players at Sale during his first spell and his return will help fill the void left by the imminent departure of Marc Jones, who will be joining Bristol next season.
The twin signings are just the fillip Sale needed ahead of their return to Premiership action next month.
Director of Rugby Steve Diamond, who has been busy on recruitment and retention over the past two months, couldn’t disguise his delight at securing the services of both Mills and Briggs.
" 'Millsy' has been a key player for us since he joined us from London Welsh two years ago," he said. "With his hard work and leadership skills both on and off the pitch, he epitomises everything that we are about. He played a big part in our success last season and has again been a key player for us so far this campaign and we are all thrilled he has signed a new deal with us.
"As for Neil, he needs no introduction to Sale fans."
"After leaving us he has picked up a wealth of experience playing with Bourgoin in France then with London Welsh and most recently with Leicester Tigers. And I believe that Neil has got better and better as his career has developed."