Fixtures - Top Bar

Leota: Confidence is high at Sale Sharks

JohnnyLeotaSaleIrish1005SB1415

Johnny Leota wasted no time in reintroducing himself to Sale Sharks after scoring the bonus-point try in the victory over Worcester Warriors and the Samoa centre says the team has moved on for the better over the summer.

Leota crowned a superb night for Sale last Friday – in his first appearance since returning from the Rugby World Cup – after burrowing over at the death.

It was quite a way to expunge the memories of Round One’s heavy defeat to Saracens, though a Sale win at the AJ Bell Stadium is usually a good bet.

And Leota, who has spent the last four seasons with the Sharks, says the improvement between this year and last is clear to see already.

“For me it was just good to be back among the boys,” he said. “While I was away with Samoa we’d heard of a lot of good work during the pre-season and I was excited about the news the boys had passed onto us.

“That last try, it’s just one of those things when you see the white line. Usually when you see the forwards pick and go you’re never going to get the ball in the back line so I looked for it and there was an opportunity.

“I think our communication between our backs and our forwards is better this year, our forwards are running good lines and our backs are giving them communications.

“If we do that throughout the whole 80, and everyone knows their job, it makes it so much easier and we wouldn’t have that fall off.

“I think we’re a lot more confident in what we’re doing this year and you saw that on Friday, when we played throughout the whole game.”

For Sale to improve on last season’s effort they must top seventh place and 11 wins, though maintaining that position is only set to get harder in Aviva Premiership Rugby after the league’s recruitment drive this summer.

Sharks have brought in experienced heads such as Brian Mujati and Bryn Evans though 21-year-old Sam James was handed his first start for the club in place of Leota against Saracens.

And Leota welcomes any increased competition in Sale’s midfield. 

“For me it’s week in week out,” Leota added. “If the coaches want to use me for a different game plan I’m happy.

“If they want to use Sam, he’s got a completely different game to me with a kicking game and ball skills.

“I’m just happy to play my part, there have been good midfielders here the last few seasons so if I can help in any way I will happily. If they want me they want me, if they don’t I just have to bite my lip and do what’s best for the team.” 

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem
 

Latest News

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home semi-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

Gloucester Rugby v Bayonne - European Rugby Challenge Cup

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)