Sale Sharks have given their survival hopes a boost by announcing key men Dan Braid and Rob Miller have both signed new deals with the club.
Braid and Miller, who will miss tonight’s’ game against Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins through injury, have played crucial roles in Sale’s resurgence, which could see them avoid relegation.
And both men praised the role of Steve Diamond, who appears to restored stability to the club after an eventful period which saw the removal of Bryan Redpath and a fleeting visit from John Mitchell.
“I came over here the first week of 2013 when Dimes signed me and everyone at the club has made me and my family very welcome,” said former Kiwi Braid.
“We have some good players here at Sale Sharks and I am looking forward to spending my time here in the North West.”
Diamond said: “Rob and Dan signing new deals is our statement of intent here at Sale Sharks. Rob has made the full-back position his own and he not only defends and attacks well but is a very capable kicker and has nailed several important kicks for us recently.
“Dan has slotted in perfectly at the club, he is a leader and a no-nonsense flanker. Since joining us he has been one of our stand out players and everyone at the club is delighted that he has committed himself to the club.”
Meanwhile, Sale scrum-half Will Cliff is adamant his side’s strength-in-depth will aid their survival quest ahead of their Aviva Premiership clash with Harlequins.
Macclesfield-born Cliff was brought into the side to face London Welsh last Sunday and his spectacular try was the highlight of a crucial Sale victory.
With four wins on the bounce, the Sharks are brimming with confidence, and Cliff championed their squad’s quality ahead of the visit of league leaders Harlequins.
“We’ve got a great squad and the amount of games we have had has given other people the chance to shine,” said Cliff.
“When it comes to the crucial games, everyone’s on the same wavelength and really knows what they’re doing.
“We just need to close the gap and put pressure on the other teams, and if we keep doing it then the other teams will have to do that as well.
“The feeling in the camp is pretty good, everyone knows we’re still bottom of the league and we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
The Sharks face reigning Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins , who are without England’s Six Nations players Joe Marler, Mike Brown, Danny Care and inspirational captain Chris Robshaw.
Despite Sale’s being up against last season’s Premiership final winners and losers in their next two games – they face Leicester Tigers – Cliff insisted the Sharks are not over-awed.
“We’re approaching these big games against Harlequins and Leicester Tigers just as we would any other game,” said Cliff.
“We need to get the basics done and get stuck-in in training with the view to winning these big games.
“The win against London Welsh was massive for the club, we really needed to follow up the Exeter result strongly and obviously it makes it much tighter at the bottom now.”
Cliff also claimed the Sharks loyal band of support are instrumental in giving Sale an extra inch in their push to win matches.
“The fans are massively important,” said Cliff. “Against London Welsh I don’t think there was one player that didn’t notice the difference the fans make on our side.
“The next game is at home and we always get good home support which we appreciate as it helps us to win games.”
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks.