Alberto de Marchi: Sale Sharks sign Italy international prop

Italy prop Alberto de Marchi will join Premiership club Sale Sharks on a two-year contract at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old, who appeared in all five of Italy's matches during the Six Nations, will replace England's Bath-bound front-rower Henry Thomas.

Director of rugby Steve Diamond says Sale fought off competition from European champions Toulon to sign de Marchi from Italian club Treviso.

"Alberto has just had a very good Six Nations with Italy," Diamond said.

"I've no doubt he'll prove to be a really big asset for us over the next few years," he told the club website. 

"Alberto is a good scrummager, he is very mobile around the pitch, he's also a good defender and we're very happy to have him on board."

De Marchi, who has played 17 times for Italy, will link up with fellow new recruits Chris Cusiter and Nathan Hines at Sale next season.

Diamond's side are sixth in the table and return to Premiership action on Saturday, when Northampton visit the AJ Bell Stadium.