key to un­leash­ing back­line – Cueto

The Rugby Paper - - News -

the hope that he can force his way back into the Eng­land setup in time for RWC 2019, Ash­ton has also given him­self the chance to over­haul Tom Varn­dell as the com­pe­ti­tion’s lead­ing all­time try scorer, a record once held by Cueto him­self.

Ash­ton is cur­rently 12 tries adrift on 80 and Cueto be­lieves with the way the game is played nowa­days, the odds are in his favour.

“Gen­er­ally, across the board, rugby is a bet­ter game than it was ten years ago,” he rea­soned.

“Credit has to go to the play­ers as much as any­thing. The skill lev­els are bet­ter. When you see the ac­ro­batic one-handed tries that Denny scores, no-one thought about do­ing that sort of stuff back in the day. If play­ers had been do­ing that, then maybe I’d have scored that try in 2007!

“Equally, I think the pow­ers-that-be, World Rugby, are try­ing to speed the game up with the Laws and that’s favour­ing the at­tack­ing sides.

“Ev­ery­one is con­scious that it is en­ter­tain­ment at the end of the day and you’ve got to try and at­tract the masses rather than just the rugby purist. To do that, you need the ball in play more rather than set­piece, scrum and li­ne­out.

“You don’t see as much com­pe­ti­tion at the ruck now, and the speed of the ball at the ruck is quicker – you are look­ing at one/two sec­ond rucks whereas ten years ago, four/five sec­onds was a quick ruck.”

Cueto in­sists they have the right man in fly-half AJ MacGinty to take ad­van­tage of the change of em­pha­sis and un­leash Sale’s at­tack­ing weapons.

“He re­minds me a bit of Jonny Wilkin­son,” Cueto added. “He is not as big a name, but his de­fence is in­cred­i­ble, he is prob­a­bly one of the best de­fend­ers in the team – not that you want your ten to be mak­ing tack­les!

“He is also an in­cred­i­bly con­sis­tent kicker. At one point last sea­son he was one of the top three kick­ers in the world, per­cent­age­wise. And I don’t think he gets enough raps for his at­tack­ing game; he gets the back line mov­ing so well.

“With Ashy run­ning his trail lines and AJ’s lit­tle show-and-goes, you’ve al­most got a match made in heaven. I am sure that will lead to a few tries. The back line we’ve as­sem­bled is in­cred­i­ble.”

Just like Jonny: Sale fly-half AJ MacGinty

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.