Dimes tells Sharks to put things right after Falcons loss
STEVE Diamond admits Sale performed below the high standards they have set themselves during last week’s narrow home defeat to Newcastle.
Now, the Sharks’ director of rugby has told his players to put that right when they host London Irish at the AJ Bell Stadium tonight (8pm).
Sale are still looking for their first win of the season in the Premiership having lost to both Harlequins and Newcastle.
Captain Will Addison moves to full-back tonight, Josh Charnley makes his first appearance of the season on the left wing, Bryan Evans returns at lock to face his former club and Marc Jones makes his first start at hooker following his return from Bristol in the close season.
And Diamond is expecting a tough test from the Exiles, whose staff visited City manager Pep Guardiola to gain an insight into his coaching techniques ahead of tonight’s match.
“There is no doubt that London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy and his coaching staff have done a fantastic job bringing the club back up to the Premiership,” said Diamond.
“We are under no illusions that we face a big task as we look to get our season really up and rolling by registering our first win of the campaign.
“Last Friday’s 13-12 defeat at home to Newcastle was obviously very frustrating for us all.
“We didn’t play well in certain areas against Newcastle and for us to be highly competitive in this league winning at home is very important.
“As a club we pride ourselves on setting the highest of standards and the disappointment last Friday was that we didn’t meet them. “Rest assured that everyone has been working extremely hard on and off the training ground this week and I’m hopeful that our efforts ensure we will get the turnaround in fortunes that we all want to see.”
And Addison can’t wait to put last week’s defeat behind him. He said: “No-one is shirking blame, everyone wants to take ownership. It’s been a positive early part of the week with guys taking ownership of what happened on Friday and wanting to change it this weekend.
“It’s a great challenge to be at home again and playing against a team that is totally different to the last time we played them back in 2016.” Steve Diamond
Sale boss Steve Diamond