Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

'We all look up to Josh': Sale Sharks feeling the Beaumont effect says young gun Parker

'We all look up to Josh': Sale Sharks feeling the Beaumont effect says young gun Parker

| By Luke Baker

He might only be 23 but everyone at Sale Sharks looks up to Josh Beaumont says teammate Ciaran Parker – even more so now he has given the club’s youngsters something to aspire to.

Although not included in the matchday 23 for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland, the very fact that Beaumont was selected by new head coach Eddie Jones is a sign of his potential.

It is undoubtedly Beaumont’s ball-playing and lineout skills that caught Jones’ eye as the No.8 looks to shake off his tag as the son of Grand Slam-winning captain Bill.

And even if Beaumont is still awaiting his first England cap when the dust settles on this season’s Six Nations, fellow Shark Parker insists his call-up will not have been wasted.

“It’s really good seeing Josh Beaumont being picked for England as it means we get that recognition as a club,” said 20-year-old Parker, speaking as the children’s charity of rugby, Wooden Spoon, were awarded the naming rights for the North Stand at the AJ Bell Stadium for two years.

“There’s all that talk about how unpopular a northern club is but Josh Beaumont shows that you can stay at Sale and make good use of your time.

“And rightly so Josh has been recognised for his endeavours. He is very important to the club, even though he is only 23 the guys still look up to him because of where he’s come from.

“He only joined full-time a few years ago so it just shows the younger lads that it’s possible.”

Beaumont’s selection for England is the tip of the iceberg on what has been a successful campaign for Sale so far, after they topped their European Challenge Cup pool to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Montpellier.

That was the first task ticked off, and now Parker wants Sale to make the most of the Six Nations window and improve their domestic position too.

“As a club we are pleased with how things have gone so far this season,” Parker added. “We still want to improve and there are a few games that got away from us.

"Looking at the table now we should be up there challenging for that top four. We’re all about our consistency in our performance and over the next few weeks we want to focus on that.

“Our first aim of the season was to get out of our European group so we are happy to have done that, especially qualifying top.

“The Six Nations period is a time we will try and target as a club as we don’t lose too many people to the internationals.

“Everyone’s aim is to be in that top four and make the semi-finals in May.”

For more information about Wooden Spoon visit www.wswearerugby.org.uk