The future’s bright for Sale Sharks as Steve Diamond pin down quartet with ‘right culture’ to new deals

By James Scott

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has continued his rebuilding plans for next season by agreeing new deals with four of his squad.

Promising young lock Tom Holmes, winger Tom Brady, number eight Mark Easter and versatile forward Aston Croall have all put pen to paper at Barton.

Diamond is confident the quartet will repay his faith in them, as the Sharks look to put their marker down for an improved Aviva Premiership campaign.

“All four are really good lads who have a great work ethic and they are people who care about the club,” said Diamond.

“They have all got the right culture and we are really pleased that they have all re-committed to Sale and they will be very important to us going forward into next season.”

Despite Sale being involved at the wrong end of the table for much of the season, 23-year-old Holmes has emerged as a rising star.

The Sandbach-born enforcer will be eager to build on his performances and cement a position in the second row next term.

Flixton-born winger Brady has endured a season wrought with injury and suspension, stalling his progress after two encouraging years at the club.

But the 2012 Young Player of the Year showcased his star quality by scoring the match-winning try in Sale’s vital 14-13 league victory over Bath in March.

Former Northampton star Easter has had a season to forget, after a shoulder injury forced him into surgery, sidelining him for the rest of the campaign.

But the brother of former England captain Nick Easter will be looking to claim the number eight shirt as his own, following the departures of Andy Powell and Richie Vernon.

Croall has found his opportunities restricted this term, having spent last season on loan at Harlequins, but Diamond is a champion of his attitude and commitment.

And the 28-year-old’s versatility in being able to play as both a loose head prop and a hooker could be invaluable.

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks.

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