Sale Sharks return from a week of R&R tonight to face Pau at the French side’s home, Stade de Hameau in the Challenge Cup.
Steve Diamond’s men have already defeated Pau on their visit to the AJ Bell Stadium and will be hoping to repeat the feat in order to secure progression to the quarter-finals.
The fortnight since the Shark’s Premiership victory against Wasps has seen big changes for Josh Beaumont, the man captaining the side in the absence of an injured Dan Braid.
The number eight received his first Six Nations call-up from new England head coach Eddie Jones on Wednesday.
“I am delighted and proud, not only as a Sale Sharks player but as a North West based player,” said Beaumont.
“As a child growing up it was a dream of mine to play for England but when I went to university I was focussing on a career outside rugby.
“But since Steve Diamond signed me and gave me my chance, playing for my country has become an ambition.”
Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond described Beaumont’s call up as fantastic for the sole Premiership outfit in the North West.
“It dispels the fear that you need to leave Sharks to play for England,” he said.
“Josh has worked hard to get where he is: he has come through the Academy and is a credit to his determined efforts and the set-up we have at the club.
“I’ve always known he was going to make it: we’re proud of him.”
Before departing for his England training camp however, Beaumont and his team will need to perform well against Pau tonight and Newport Gwent Dragons next week, in order to secure a home quarter final in the Challenge Cup.
“Pau play in more of a stereotypical ‘French way’ than Castres,” Beaumont told MM.
“They like to throw the ball around and score long range tries with their dangerous runners.
“It’s for us to stop them doing that. We’ve already played them once and beaten them so we know we’re capable of doing that.”
Sale have two further home games this month to look forward to in Europe and in the league before Beaumont can get his teeth stuck into the Six Nations starting in February.
“There are some pretty good number eights in the Six Nations,” Beaumont said.
“Jamie Heaslip, Taulupe Falatau, Sergio Parisse, Dave Denton – I’d be wary of all of them!
“You learn to be the best by playing against the best and hopefully take on some of what they’re doing.”
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.