By Tom Reynolds, Sportsbeat
Sale rookie centre Tommy Bell has set his sights on taking full advantage of the blank Sharks canvas in 2011 – starting with Friday’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series final in Twickenham.
With an all-new backroom staff at Edgeley Park – headed by Executive Director of Sport Steve Diamond and new first-team coach Tony Hanks – Bell believes the slate has been wiped clean ahead of the new campaign.
Bell, brother of former Sharks centre Chris, will have a golden opportunity to steal a march on his midfield rivals in the free-flowing sevens world at the Stoop on Friday night.
And with the Sharks a club in transition after a summer of ins and outs, Bell is desperate to make sure the first impression of him lasts longest in Diamond and co’s minds with Premiership rugby in the offing.
“With the new coaching staff, they will have seen a few games of last season and things but they haven’t had the chance to see that much so the Sevens finals on Friday are a good chance to make a good impression,” said Bell.
“In that way it is a bit of fresh start for me and a lot of the guys so hopefully I can make sure I take that chance and start by playing well at the finals at the Stoop.
“For me it’s a good opportunity. It is a good situation at Sale, all the players and the coaches at Sale are happy and it’s an exciting time and hopefully I can be a part of that.
“It’s about keeping my head down and working hard and hopefully that can mean that I can force my way into the first team plans.”
Sale booked their spot in the six-time finals evening in south London by progressing through the regional round on home soil, the most notable result being a 47-0 thrashing of reigning Premiership champions Leicester.
Saracens will start Friday’s finals as favourites having taken the 2010 title but Bell believes if the Sharks can revive their Leicester form they can be a match for anyone.
“Winning is always going to be the aim and if we can play like we did against Leicester then I think we will have a good chance,” added Bell.
“We started slowly at the regional round at Edgeley Park and then played really well in the Leicester game so if we can make sure we get off to a good start on Friday then we will have a good chance.”
Tickets for the final of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series at the Twickenham Stoop are available through Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.co.uk, on 0844 847 2492 or can be purchased at the ground on the night.
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