‘New regime, new opportunity’: MM takes a look at the Sale Sharks who could edge into the England set-up

Despite Paul Ackford warning new England coach Eddie Jones off Sale last month, Steve Diamond was vociferous in claiming that several of his players would have bolstered their national side’s World Cup campaign.

Danny Cipriani was on the fringes of selection but missed out when ex-coach Stuart Lancaster opted to select just two number 10s in his squad, whilst no other Sharks were seriously considered.

But with a new regime comes new opportunity. Here, MM takes a look at five Sale stars who could be catching the interest of Jones ahead of the Six Nations in February.

Danny Cipriani

There’s no other place to start than Cipriani, the main man in Manchester.

Admittedly his game-finishing kicks have not been going to plan this season – with slip-ups against both Newcastle and Harlequins – but the rest of his play has been superb.

Cipriani remains a selfless fly-half, with an eye for a pass, chip or gap that other players just don’t see.

George Ford hasn’t been having the best of starts with Bath since returning from a frustrating World Cup and there are some that argue for all Farrell’s penalty-kicking ability, his tackling leaves a lot to be desired.

So could it be third time lucky for the one-time wunderkind of the England team?

Mike Haley

The fullback won Steve Diamond’s Player of the Year award last season and has continued to impress in 2015.

At only 21, Haley is the first choice fullback for the Sharks, with an impeccable record under the high ball and stellar running game.

Eddie Jones will surely be looking for a sure thing to back up and eventually replace the aging Mike Brown, the current England number 15.

Get him while he’s hot, Eddie!

Tommy Taylor

Sale Academy graduate Taylor has one of the best throws in the business, not to mention the metres he makes with ball in hand.

Tom Youngs should take note.

Like Haley, the 22-year-old is a regular fixture on the Sharks’ starting line-up and is proof of the successful youth system in place in Sale.

Danny Cipriani has tipped Taylor as an international of the future, will Jones agree with him?

Josh Beaumont

English rugby royalty Josh Beaumont is the son of Bill the former England and Lions captain.

But quite apart from his legacy young Josh is making a name for himself all on his own.

The versatile No. 8 became a fixture in Steve Diamond’s starting line-up over the past two seasons, edging out some seasoned players.

His movement from the back of the scrum asks serious questions of the opposition and he is a formidable prospect while moving at speed.

Sam James

If Eddie Jones hasn’t noticed Sam James by now then he must have been having bigger passport problems than we realised.

Yet another recent graduate from the Sale Sharks academy, James has surpassed all expectation with his first senior season as full time member of the squad with tries against Pau, Northampton and Harlequins.

Able to play at both centre and fly half, the youngster is becoming known for his creative flair and blistering pace.

Sharks fans in the stands should keep their eyes peeled over the festive period because there may well be a sighting of a lesser-spotted England coach. 

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via Youtube, with thanks

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