Sale Sharks seek to curb reliance on Boks
SPOTLIGHT: Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond says the club are determined to follow the likes of Exeter by becoming more reliant on their academy system to produce first-team players.
Diamond has outlined that in three to four years he wants Sale’s first team to feature less overseas imports, with the bulk of the squad instead coming from their own production line.
Sale already work closely with Manchester University in an effort to produce young players, and Diamond outlined they will soon announce a new partnership with the university in a bid to boost their academy system.
“I think with our redesigning of the academy to a certain extent, and our association with Manchester University, which we’ll announce soon, we want to be seeing not 12 lads in the academy pushing for first-team places, but 22,” Diamond said, speaking in an interview with club sponsors Morson Group.
“There are clubs that have done it very well. Exeter, for one, have done it very well, using the educational process as well as the rugby process to get what they want and get that desired effect with your squad. And that’s what I’m after.
“You know, we can’t always go out and buy eight, nine South Africans, like we have done. And I think it’s serving a purpose and will serve us well over the next three, four years, but at the end of that period it will be one or two people being brought in from abroad and hopefully, you create your own production line.”
Sale has 10 South Africans in their squad. They are Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Faf de Klerk, Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Lood de Jager, Cobus Wiese, Jono Ross and the three Du Preez brothers, Dan, Rob and Jean-Luc.
Meanwhile, Diamond confirmed that Ben Curry will be out of action for a period of three to four weeks after picking up an ankle strain in the Premiership Cup defeat of Harlequins last week.
As reported by RugbyPass on Sunday, the flank is set to miss some key games as Sale attempt to book their place in the Premiership play-offs.
The Premiership final is set for October 24, just under four weeks away.
Sale currently sit fourth in the Premiership table on 59 points. They play Northampton on Tuesday and Worcester in their final regular-season match on Sunday.
“Ross (Harrison) is available for Tuesday. Ben Curry isn’t available. He’s got an ankle strain which will keep him out for three or four weeks,” Diamond said.