‘Error-free’ James brothers lead rout as family ties bolster Sale
Currys. The third set may not be twins but between them the Manchester-born pair scored half of Sale’s tries – 21-year-old full-back Luke James touching down for the opening scores of both the first and second halves and 26-year-old centre brother Sam scoring on the halfhour to secure the bonus point.
Steve Diamond, the Sale director of rugby, praised the three sets of siblings and, in an era when the word “family” is often used by coaches to describe how bonded their teams are, he was keen to express the important role these brothers play in setting the tone for his squad.
“People talk about the culture and family and all these words, which everybody is respectful of, but we have three sets of brothers in the same team on a regular basis. Both sets of twins are special lads, but Sam and Luke James, their understanding of the game is on a different level,” Diamond said.
“Both of the James brothers are error free most of the time week-in, week-out. Luke is an all-action hero to me. He is one of the best players Sale has ever had. He doesn’t make any errors, he’s cool, he’s quiet and he gets the job done. When he is asked to step up to the plate he does that better than anybody. I am delighted for our sets of brothers, as well as all the others.”
The sense of a close-knit squad is reinforced by how Sale, unlike the majority of their Premiership rivals, operate with just 32 principle players, while other clubs, such as Bristol, have well over 40 in their senior set-up.
Diamond also emphasised that the bonds in his side extended beyond the pitch, telling reporters that the players, their wives and partners were celebrating their victory with a socially distanced night out.
The remainder of Sale’s tries came courtesy of wing Denny Solomona, man of the match Faf de Klerk, and Marland Yarde. Irishborn United States international fly-half AJ MacGinty made five out of six conversions. Bristol’s try came from Samoan Alapati Leiua.
Cool hands: Luke James beats Bristol’s Ben Earl to score the opening try for Sale