Sport

Former captain Bryan Redpath appointed Sale Sharks Director of Rugby

By Mancunian Matters Staff

Former Sale Sharks captain and Gloucester Head Coach Bryan Redpath has returned to the club after being named the new Director of Rugby.

The 41-year-old, who play 80 games for the Sharks between 2005 and 2005, will succeed Steve Diamond, who has moved into the chief executive role, following an excellent last campaign.

And Redpath, who resigned from the Kingsholm club in March, is looking forward to trying to deliver the Sharks’ first Premiership title in seven years, as well as an exciting Heineken Cup adventure.

“I want to carry on what Steve has started,” said Redpath, whose last Sharks appearance was against Pau in the European Challenge Cup in 2005.

“He’s brought back a club culture. People who care about playing for Sale Sharks are important. I had five great years here and loved every minute. I want to make sure that everyone is playing here for the right reasons.

“Where can it end up? I don’t know. When I first came here, (former coach) Brian Kennedy talked about winning the Premiership. The club did that in six years.

“I want to be successful as an individual. I want to be successful with Sale Sharks.

“If we can get to the top end of the Premiership, that would be great. It’s not easy. Talk is cheap to reach the top four, there’s a lot of hard work for us but Steve set a good standard in the last twelve months. We need to keep on that road and push every department hard.”

Scottish-born Redpath spent seven years at Gloucester, becoming Head Coach in 2009, and wants to put that experience into practice as Sale kick off their new season in Salford.

He is also excited by the squad he is inheriting from Diamond, including new signings Danny Cipriani and fellow countryman Richie Gray, who he believes will thrive at the Sharks.

He said: “There have been a few changes here. Seven years away coaching down at Gloucester has been great for me and it’s great to come back up.

“I’m delighted with the move and am looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“It’s a great move for the club to be playing at the new stadium at Salford, which is bigger and has easy access. We need to make it somewhere special for Sale Sharks – the venue definitely looks as though it’s going to be good for us.

“Richie will love playing here. He’ll love the character of the club. It’s not just about your own personal development, it’s enhancing the ‘feelgood factor’ around the club. That’s hugely important for me as well.”

Diamond, who guided the club to sixth place, believes Redpath is a vital block in the Shark’s rebuilding process.

“Bryan is very similar to me in many respects,” he said.

“His DNA was on the club for a long time, as was mine. There are two routes we need to take going forward. I can take the strategy and drive the club forward off the field, but in the last weeks of last season I found myself trying to be ‘master of all trades’ and have to be honest in that nobody can do that well.

“I was therefore looking for someone who had a similar hardworking, knowledgeable outlook with no ‘messing around’ to deal with on-field matters – Bryan is absolutely ideal.

“The skill in my job is getting the recruitment right, and putting the club in the hands of successful coaches, and I’m sure that’s the direction we’re going.”

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