Sale Sharks and England international Danny Cipriani has spoken of his admiration for Andrew Sheridan after the prop retired from rugby with immediate effect due to injury.
The 34-year-old loosehead prop signed for Sale in 2003 and was part of the Sharks’ 2005/06 Premiership winning side.
Sheridan had a year left on his Toulon contract but after seeking medical advice about a persistent neck problem he has made the decision to call time on a sterling career, prompting Cipriani’s tribute.
“He was a warhorse of the front row for so long and he has had a fantastic career,” fly-half Cipriani told MM.
“The 2007 World Cup was a stand-out moment for him. You see the pressure that goes on players in the scrum: look at Dylan Hartley who passed out at the weekend.
“You don’t notice the consistency of Sheridan’s scrummaging until you understand the game, and Sheridan has been doing it for 10, 12, 15 years.”
Sheridan became feared throughout the rugby world, developing a reputation as England’s scrum destroyer-in-chief during an international career spanning 40 games.
He will inevitably be remembered for his phenomenal performance as England shocked Australia 12-10 at the quarter final stage of the 2007 World Cup.
The loosehead led a demolition of the Australian scrum and the image of him grappling with Matt Dunning symbolised everything that handed England victory.
Known for his power – the England international can bench press 225kg – Sheridan amazed a young Cipriani with his lifting at England training.
“He was an absolute beast,” said Cipriani.
“I remember seeing him in the gym when I was younger, 18 or 19, and he was lifting weights I have never seen before… ridiculous amounts!”
Sheridan was part of Toulon’s 2013 Heineken Cup winning side and now plans to go into the wine trade after deciding to take qualifications to become a wine buyer.
Main image courtesy of RFU Wine Club via YouTube, with thanks.