SALE Sharks have signed Australian international James O’Connor on a three-year deal in their latest world-class addition to the ranks.

O'Connor touches down in south Manchester after three years in the south of France, where he played for European giants Toulon.

The Australian has also represented Western Force, London Irish, Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds.

Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "We are delighted that James O’Connor will be joining us.

"He is a world-class versatile back that will add a lot to our game.

"He is the type of player that, alongside a group of incredibly talented home-grown lads, will help us as a club to push on and achieve the vision of our owners Simon Orange and Ged Mason.

"He has great feet and an unbelievable running and  kicking game which will threaten any opposition.

"What is exciting about James is his potential. He was capped for Australia 44 times by the age of 23 and even now at only 26, he has played in the English Premiership, French Top 14, Super 15 and at international level.

"He has a lot of experience and is keen to show his international calibre.

"We are all pleased he has chosen to do this at Sale Sharks.

"His debut at the AJ Bell Stadium alongside signings such as Faff de Klerk, Jono Ross  and Josh Strauss, and the return of our seven England players, will make for an amazing start to the new season.”

O’Connor joins Sale Sharks as co-owners Mason and Orange celebrate their one year anniversary in charge of the North West’s only Premiership rugby union team.

Orange added: "Hard work and grit are at the core of our culture at Sale.

"I have no doubt Steve Diamond and the coaching staff will help James channel his amazing talent to help him and the club achieve something really special, and I know he is looking forward to getting started with the lads.

"We have put down good foundations and we are excited to see James add that extra bit of sparkle we have been looking for.”