All Black lock Bryn Evans is raring to go ahead of the new season after making a summer switch to the Sharks from Biarritz.
The New Zealand international, 30, met up with his new teammates for the first time last week and instantly got stuck in to the pre-season training.
He said: "|We are doing some conditioning work in training and working hard in the gym to get ourselves back up to fitness, it has been very tough so far but I have enjoyed my first week here."
Evans has moved to the Sharks along with experienced Irish scrum half Peter Stringer and also the returning Neil Briggs, who has re-joined Sale for a second spell.
"You know what it is like on the first day with all the new boys in the corner, but all the lads have been very welcoming and it has been a great first week," he added.
Steve Diamond grabbed a reference from Dan Braid before signing the giant lock, as the pair played together with the Blues and he was impressed with the flanker’s account of Evans’ ability.
And Evans revealed he is excited about the prospect of playing alongside Braid again after their stint together in Super Rugby.
"I played with Braidy at the Blues and he was a big leader back then," he added. "He has become a bigger and better player and has brought that leader role with him, so I look forward to packing down with him.
"I also spoke to Johnny Leota before moving here and asked him what it was like and he told me about the club and the culture here. He told me that it’s a club that has come together, so that’s what drew me to Sale Sharks."
Evans is no stranger to the Premiership having spent three years with London Irish – making 74 appearances and scoring 25 points in the process – before leaving to join Biarritz in 2014.
"I am happy to be back here in the Premiership," he added. "I enjoyed my time in France. It’s a different culture and a different style of rugby but I am happy to be back."
Evans comes to Sale with a wealth of experience and will look to replace veteran Nathan Hines in the lineouts, who retired at the end of last season.
He said: "I don’t feel any pressure replacing Nathan because there are a great group of lads still here and I hope I can add to the lineouts. We are bouncing ideas off of each other and it is all very positive.
"First of all I need to get in the team and play some rugby and that’s what I have come here to do. I have got to prove myself in training and try and get a starting spot because there is a great bunch of lads already here."
With the Kings of the North fast approaching Evans is looking forward to the big game against Leicester and the match up with Newcastle.
"It’s good that we can test ourselves against a team like Leicester so early in the season. I look forward to being involved."
Evans also touched upon the World Cup and how he hopes the All Blacks can have a good tournament and possibly go on to win – but knows it is going to be a tough competition.
"Anybody who plays rugby looks forward to the World Cup it’s the pinnacle of our sport, but it’s going to be tough for the All Blacks as well as any team coming to England to play. Hopefully we can try and win it, I’m very excited about the whole competition."
Just over ten weeks to the first home game of the season against Leicester Tigers in The Kings of the North Competition, why not get yourself a Sale Sharks season ticket? This includes tickets to all the Aviva Premiership games, three European Rugby Challenge Cup games plus the two Kings of the North fixtures. Contact Paddy/Olly on 0161 667 7512/7519 or email email@example.com with your name and number for a call back.