Manchester Evening News

SHARKS BOSS ON ENGLAND CHANCES

- By BRENDAN MCGILLIGAN

ENGLAND will finish runners up in the Six Nations, according to Sale Sharks director of rugby.

Alex Sanderson believes there is a chance England will mount a challenge for the competitio­n, and this is down to the English head coach.

He said: “Of course I want our boys to do well – I’d want England to win.

“The supercompu­ter has the odds stacked against England.

“But he is a smart fella, Borthwick. He would have done his own analysis, and I think he will have found a way to beat prediction­s of where they will finish – that was second to last, but I don’t believe that.

“I think they will finish second.”

This means that one of Wales, Scotland, Italy, Ireland, or France would finish above the 2023 World Cup semi-finalists and lift the trophy.

And Sanderson predicted that it would come down to a battle between the French and the Irish, with Les Bleus coming out on top.

He said: “Ireland will be there as they are a class outfit. I think France might have a point to prove.

“Yes, I think France will be strong, seeing as they are motivated.”

This predicatio­n for the 2024 Six Nations coincides with the documentar­y series released by Netflix on last season’s tournament.

Full Contact gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into all the nations involved in the tournament.

Sanderson believes that the show is positive as the sport looks to continue to grow its audience for both the internatio­nal and club scenes.

He said: “Any publicity is good publicity.

“I’m sure the public wants to see behind the scenes, not just the editorial or marketing documentar­y for the RFU.

“I think any interest in rugby on the big stage will filter down, most of the TV money and most of the neutral spectators support the players not the clubs, but vicariousl­y if we can get them playing at the clubs more, like they are doing now with the shorter competitio­n and the Prem Cup being in the six nations and the autumn internatio­nal windows, then the neutral supporter should end up coming to the club to see the players.”

The show brings the personalit­ies of star players to the forefront of the sport as it looks to give an insight into the individual­s fighting for their nation in the oldest rugby competitio­n.

And Sanderson thinks this is key to the success of the sport in the future.

He said: “With the right characters and enough access, yes, I think the game is brilliant enough, and the characters within it are interestin­g enough to gather attention and hopefully bring in what we are hoping is a new audience, a younger, more family-oriented audience.”

 ?? ?? Sale chief Alex Sanderson
Sale chief Alex Sanderson

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