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Beaumont backs Braid influence at Sale Sharks

Josh Beaumont admits the return of Dan Braid has been a real boost at Sale Sharks as they chase their second consecutive win in the LV= Cup.

Beaumont went over for a try in Sale’s dramatic win over Wasps in the competition’s first weekend, a game that also saw skipper and former All Black Braid make his first return from a knee injury.

The 22-year-old lock, who shifted to No.8 in the second half of the clash, was making only his second start of the season for Steve Diamond’s troops.

And with Braid likely to be in action again this weekend for the Sharks, Beaumont admits he is relishing the chance to learn from the best.

“The LV= Cup is a good opportunity to show what you can do and get some game time under my belt because I’ve mainly benched this season,” said Beaumont.

“I’ve gained confidence from last weekend which I can take into the next game and I’m sure the young players who get given a shot this weekend will do that as well.

“When I went to No.8 it’s good to have him (Braid) next to you, he tells you what you’re doing wrong and what the best thing to do next is.

“As a captain he sometimes has to be assertive but he finds a mixture, he looks after the players as well. Having him back on the field is a bonus for us because you can’t really lead from the sidelines.”

Sale were runners up in the LV= Cup back in 2013 and after seeing off Wasps 32-29 last weekend they are targeting another strong run this season.

And while they currently sit down in tenth in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, director of rugby Diamond is confident that the best is still to come from his side with skipper Braid back in the ranks.

“We’re one win off where we should be,” he said. “Dan obviously makes a difference but we secured the top six spot last season without him at the end because he was injured but his influence is second to none.

“Where you notice his (Braid’s) presence is on the back of driving mauls and things like that, he’s streetwise, chatting to refs and stuff like that.

“He’s just got to get match fitness and then hopefully he’ll start getting a second wind in games and be back to the player we know he is.”

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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