It’s been a long time coming for Nev Edwards but the winger has finally found a home in Aviva Premiership Rugby – and he’s intent on grasping his chance with both hands.
The 28-year-old was on the books at London Irish a decade ago but never made a first-team appearance before moving on to Rosslyn Park and then Bedford Blues.
But after being offered a trial over the summer on the advice of school friend Danny Cipriani, Edwards impressed for Sale during the Kings of the North tournament – and was promptly offered a one-year contract.
Edwards has certainly set about making up for lost time, scoring four tries in the five first-team appearances he’s made so far.
And with Sale still fighting on both fronts, he is determined to keep proving his worth at the top level whenever called upon.
“I’m really enjoying it, I’m really getting an opportunity to showcase what I can do at this level,” he said. ”There’s still a lot of things that I need to work on and I’m doing that in training as much as possible.
“Obviously part of my position where I play on the wing is to score tries, so I just want to keep making sure I’m doing that for the team, doing my job, and keep working on all the other details of my game whilst I go along.
“At the moment I just want to cement my place in the team and make myself a regular starter and just keep learning and getting that experience from playing and from the people around me as well.
“That’s my drive at the moment, to make sure that I can manage at this level, and then I’ll start looking forwards in the future.
“It’s probably a good place to be for Dimes, there’s quite a few of us on the wing here, so it’s a good situation for him where everybody is hungry to play and wants to be in that starting 15.”
And Thursday night represents another golden opportunity for Edwards and company, with a crunch Challenge Cup clash at home to Newport Gwent Dragons in store.
The Dragons, who lead Pool 2, have already qualified but they will be fighting for the right to play a home quarter-final – while the Sharks must win to ensure their progression.
“The Dragons are quite a good side, but we’re definitely up for the challenge and we’ll see how things go,” added Edwards, who has scored tries against Castres and Pau in Europe this season.
“We’re at home and that’s a massive thing for us. Obviously we like to win at home, so we’ll be looking to do that again.
“They’re quite physical, they’ve got a strong set of forwards and they move the ball well in the backs as well, so they do play quite a bit. But I think our defensive system is definitely up for the challenge and I’ve got a feeling we’ll go quite well.”