Being one of the world’s leading players Faf de Klerk is clearly important on the pitch for Sale Sharks but he’s increasingly making an impact off it as well.

The Springbok 2018 World Player of the Year nominee joined Sale from Super Rugby’s Lions in 2017 and has since extended his contract, while aiding what seems to be a South African revolution in Salford.

Already from the Rainbow Nation there is de Klerk, club captain Jono Ross and hulking centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg – who used to play with de Klerk at the Lions in 2017.

And now Sale have announced this week the capture of Springbok fly-half Rob du Preez and hooker Akker van der Merwe, who will join after the current Super Rugby season, with both men name-checking de Klerk as influential in persuading them to join.

“I think Akker (van der Merwe) and Rob (du Preez) should definitely give me some of their money! I don’t know whether they will but that would be good,” said de Klerk, who was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their U15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher.

“Jokes aside it’s just great to get those lads here to Sale. Rob, when he was here, was great for us and played a massive part in the three months he was here on loan.

“And then I think he’s gone back and played with Akker and has spread the news around. Me and Akker have come a long way together as well – he had a short chat with me to see how things are here.

“I think it makes their decision a lot easier than when you go to a club and you don’t know anyone there.

“Personally it’s going to be great to have those guys here, speak a bit more Afrikaans at the club!”

Du Preez has already had a big impact at Sale, scoring 81 points in nine games in a three-month loan spell earlier this season.

And if he and van der Merwe can become as effective in the team as their fellow countrymen de Klerk and Ross, the South African influence on the Gallagher Premiership could be huge next season.

There could well be five Springboks just at Sale next season, continuing the huge impact the likes of Willie le Roux has made at Wasps and Francois Louw has made at Bath.

De Klerk continued: “It’s fun having those guys here in England. Willie (le Roux) and Flo (Louw) are very competitive guys so before the game we’ll have a quick greet and a laugh but on the field it’s pretty serious, not a lot of joking going on there.

“But me and Willie spoke the other day and me and Flo if we get the opportunity, especially when we play against each other we try and get a beer together after the game.

“It’s good to catch up and it’s good to have those mates dotted around England.”

De Klerk was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their U15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Lymm won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.