Playing for positions: Sale and Tuitupou target another heavyweight scalp in Europe

Sale Sharks are out of contention in the European Rugby Champions Cup but that will not stop them aiming to take another high profile scalp against ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Sale have picked up just two points in Europe this campaign but last week showed their capability to challenge anyone by comfortably beating Premiership holders Northampton 20-7 in the league.




Centre Sammy Tuitupou believes that his side can cause an upset against Clermont tomorrow night to regain some pride after the 35-3 defeat in the reverse fixture.

He said: “All the guys are keen to get amongst it. These (European) games are the sort of fixtures we want to play in.

“We got a lot of confidence from last week’s win and we applied that to our training, so hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

The Sharks may feel aggrieved to be exiting the competition at the group stage having lost home ties against Munster and Saracens by less than a try.

“The two losses we suffered before could have gone our way,” the former All Black said. “But with the European games it’s a big chance for us this week to have back-to-back wins against two champion sides which we haven’t done for a long time.

“We put in a lot of effort last year to qualify and I think we’ve still got a chance of beating teams this year.

“Guys are still looking to play for positions and playing against the best teams brings the best out in us.”

When the Aviva Premiership returns next month Sale will find themselves with the favourites tag as they travel to winless London Welsh.

Currently eighth in the table, Steve Diamond’s side are just two points off fourth, and may target a trip to bottom side Welsh as a chance for a bonus point victory.

Tuitupou added that the team was not getting carried away: “(Welsh) will have nothing to lose so they’ll come out and try to disrupt our game to hopefully secure their first win of the season, so for us it’s a big test.

“We don’t want to be resting players when we come up against London Welsh, it could all fall apart. It’s about getting the balance right and getting the players revving to go.”

Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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