Sale Sharks captain Dan Braid has praised teammate Danny Cipriani’s recent performances for England and believes both of them can ensure the Carrington club have a successful season.
The 33-year-old, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation on a knee injury, was impressed with the fly-half’s performances on the tour in New Zealand.
And despite suffering a whitewash against the All Blacks, Braid believes there were some positives for the England international, who was called up for the first time since 2008.
“I thought England were very competitive in the first two games but the All Blacks upped the pace in the final test and England were well beaten,” he said.
“I was impressed with Danny Cipriani on the tour, he didn’t get a lot of game time in the Tests but when he came on he showed what he can do.
“His display against Crusaders was Danny at his best and he should be proud of his efforts on the tour.”
The former All Blacks international also believes that the European draw, which will see Sharks pitched against Munster, Clermont and Saracens, is a tricky group but one they are more than capable of progressing from.
“That is one tough group, but it’s tough for all the teams and we aim to do as we did last year and fly under the radar,” he admitted.
“At the AJ Bell Stadium we will be difficult to beat and I believe we are capable of causing a surprise or two!”
Braid is in a race against time to be ready for the first game of the season after suffering an injury against Bath in March, but the flanker is optimistic about his recovery.
“The knee is improving with every session I do,” he said.
“I have not started running on it yet but that will be taking place very soon.”
Sale have bolstered their squad for the coming year, bringing in Luke McClean from Treviso and Nathan Hines from Clermont, who Braid is excited to be playing alongside.
“I have never played against Nathan but he is a real athlete, putting in extra time on everything we do,” he said.
“Nathan is going to be a great addition to the squad.”
Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.