England and Sale prop Andrew Sheridan to join Toulon

England and Sale prop Andrew Sheridan is to join French side Toulon.

The 32-year-old, who has not featured for the Sharks this season after returning from the World Cup with a shoulder injury , will move next season.

Director of sport Steve Diamond told the Manchester Evening News  : "Sheri's going to move to Toulon this summer.

"He's been a loyal member of the club but he feels that he's best suited for the next two or three years to try his hand by playing over in France."

The loose-head prop began his career at Richmond, before a four-year stint at Bristol.

He joined Sale in 2003 following Bristol's relegation from the Premiership and has gone on to play more than 100 games for the North West club.

I will be sad to see him go because he's been here at the club for such a long time

Steve Diamond Director of sport

Sheridan made the first of his 40 England appearances against Canada in 2004 and played in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final for the national side.

The 6ft 5in prop, also known as 'Big Ted', toured with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009 and is renowned for his destructive scrummaging throughout world rugby .

The move is likely to end his Test career as the Rugby Football Union has stated it intends to employ a strict policy of only selecting home-based players for England.

He nearly moved to France last season but signed a new one-year deal following Diamond's return to the club.

Sheridan will join a growing pool of English players based at the big-spending Cote d'Azur club.

Jonny Wilkinson, Simon Shaw and Steffon Armitage are already in residence, with Delon Armitage and Nick Kennedy expected to move there this summer.

"His words to me when he told me were that he was glad he's been here while I've been here," Diamond added.

"Obviously, I will be sad to see him go because he's been here at the club for such a long time but, equally, I guess you then have to look at the pros and the cons.

"You have to consider what he brings to the club. You also have to look at his England status, his injury status, so there's a lot to take into account."