World Cup heroes show our strength
LAST week’s Heineken Champions Cup game served as the perfect way to welcome our World Cup stars back from Japan.
Faf De Klerk returned to us as a champion with South Africa, with Tom Curry and Mark Wilson runners-up for England.
We now boast two World Cup winners amongst our ranks, as Lood De Jager also earned a medal alongside Faf, but has had his return delayed by a shoulder injury.
You have to go back to 2003 to find the last time we had a Sharks’ World Cup winner in Jason Robinson. To now have two winners and two runnersup shows the quality of our squad this season.
And that quality helped us come out on top in that tricky home fixture against La Rochelle last weekend.
It was a physical game resulting in their hooker, Pierre
Bourgarit, being shown a straight red for foul play. Fortunately, we were too strong for them and won 25-15.
With two games played in our Champions Cup pool so far, we’re second with five points on the board, a great position to be in at this early stage of the competition.
The La Rochelle victory was a massive tick in the box after picking up a bonus point in a narrow loss to Glasgow Warriors, so to be well in with a chance of progressing out of the pool in our first season back in the competition is really encouraging.
Looking at the Premiership table reminds me why I consider it one of the best leagues in the world.
In others, you can almost guarantee a win here and there, but this isn’t possible in our competition.
The of the Premiership is clear by looking at the current standings, as Bristol Bears, a club that only came into the division two years ago, are top.
Similarly, London Irish are sixth and in great form in their first season back.
With this in mind, we’re expecting a tough test at Worcester tomorrow, a game which will be played on their 4G surface pitch.
That brings its own challenge, as our lads only play on artificial pitches once every two or three months. They often produce fast-paced games, so it should be a good spectator experience and, hopefully, end in a good result for Sharks. We officially welcomed our World Cup heroes back this week with a Sharks Business Club event in partnership with Kingdom Group, held at Bentley Manchester.
Faf, Tom and Mark were all in attendance to meet with our partners and went through a Q&A to discuss their incredible experiences in Japan. We’re already seeing the positive effects of their World Cup success putting us on the map, as we’ve also secured a new partnership with Toshiba Air Conditioning. From their Stockport base, the company is continuing its long-running support for rugby by becoming our big screen partners for the season.
Faf de Klerk returned to Sale action against La Rochelle