Fixtures - Top Bar

Sale Sharks star Haley taking lessons from the World Cup

This year’s Rugby World Cup came too soon for Mike Haley but the Sale Sharks full-back has been taking notes as he aims to build on last season’s breakthrough campaign in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Haley was thrown into the deep end last year and emerged with flying colours, making the Sale No.15 jersey his own and regularly outperforming some of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s most experienced stars.

And though Sale suffered a heavy defeat to Saracens in Round One of the new season, he made 100 metres and three clean breaks with 21 carries –  according to Opta stats for Aviva Premiership Rugby,

England exited the World Cup in the pool stages after a frustrating campaign but Haley, only 21, will surely be in the reckoning come 2019 should he build on his impressive start.

Indeed, it is not just the necessary physical attributes that Haley has in his locker – he’s a self-confessed student of the game.

And he said:  “The World Cup has been great because I’ve been able to watch all the games and different styles of full-back and how they adapt their style to each game – that’s something I can really learn from.

“Watching all the full-backs under the high ball is brilliant and then watching someone like Nehe Milner-Skudder and his attacking play, how he uses his feet.

“It’s about learning and what you think you can take from one of those players then try to bring it to your own game.

“I think full-back now is very much a position where you need to be stable, like the rock at the back because a lot of pressure will come onto you. So if you’re very stable and you get an upper hand there then the team can
build an attack.

“If you look at all the semi-finalists now they’ve all got a great full-back. They’ll know whether to send the ball long, do an up-and-under, tackle, it’s that decision making.

“You’ve also go to control your wingers, speak to your 13, you’ve got to be that centrepiece just to make sure everything’s ticking.

“If you go quiet, no-one really knows where you are at the back of the field because they can’t turn around.

“No one wants to be sketchy about what’s going on behind. They want to know that if anything goes on there the full-back will there to cover up.”

Sale will look to kick-start their season on Friday against a Worcester Warriors side that sent shockwaves around the league after dispatching Northampton Saints in their first game following promotion.

And though Haley has again been given the nod at full-back, he insists that he is far from the complete package at this stage of his career.

“This year if I’m going to be getting the ball a lot I need to cut out silly errors,” Haley added. “I made maybe one or two on the weekend and if I want to progress I need to cut them out completely.

“Though it’s weird because I’d rather play badly and we win. It’s more of a team ethic we’ve got going at the moment.”

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

Latest News

Jeff Williams excited by new Bath Rugby role for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Bath Rugby won’t be lacking rugby 7s experience when former England international Jeff Williams takes the reigns for the Singha…

Whiteley hoping to lead Saracens starlets to glory in Singha 7s

Saracens scrum-half Tom Whiteley is hoping to use all his experience of competing at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s to…

Mike Delany returns to New Zealand

Newcastle Falcons fly-half Mike Delany has returned to his native New Zealand to sign for home province, Bay of Plenty.…

Mike Delany

Topsy Ojo talks London Double Header memories

With six weeks to go until London Irish lock horns with Harlequins in the iconic London Double Header at Twickenham,…

Topsy Ojo

Toby Flood hopes to bring ruthless streak to Newcastle Falcons

Toby Flood is hoping to help give Newcastle Falcons the ruthless streak required to push them further up the Aviva…

Toby Flood

Aviva Premiership Rugby set for changes after six law amendments added to global trial

Aviva Premiership Rugby will be part of the global trial for six new law amendments after the World Rugby Executive…

Alex Lewington hopes London Irish youngsters will gain confidence from Singha 7s

London Irish wing Alex Lewington cannot wait to see which youngsters step up to the plate in the Singha Premiership…

Alex Lewington

Worcester Warriors sign Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer

Warriors have signed Ireland international Peter Stringer on a six-month deal ahead of the 2017/18 season. The scrum-half will join…

Peter Stringer

Tim Streather forced to retire from rugby

Former Saracens centre Tim Streather has been forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury. Commenting on…

Tim Streather

Contract and captaincy for Dylan Hartley at Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints has today announced that Dylan Hartley has both signed a new contract and been appointed as the club’s…

Dylan Hartley

Forwards Coach George Skivington says London Irish squad are chomping at the bit

The London Irish squad have returned for pre-season training ‘hungrier’ than ever before according to Forwards Coach George Skivington. Now…

George Skivington

Wasps Academy sign Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Wasps announce the signing of hooker Gabriel Oghre and prop George Thornton to the Senior Academy ahead of the new…

Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Singha 7s gives next generation the chance to shine

Harlequins academy coach Jim Evans believes that next week’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will give the league’s stars of the…

Harlequins in action at the Singha 7s

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s draw confirmed

The 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season will kick off – at the end of July - in spectacular style with the Singha…

Win an Executive Box for the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series

Premiership Rugby has teamed up with Northampton Saints to offer supporters the chance to win themselves an Executive Box at…

Singha 7s Ball

Dave Attwood and team-mates happy to lend a hand at Bath Rugby Foundation’s Summer Scrum

Bath Rugby lock Dave Attwood admitted helping teach rugby to children with disabilities was extremely humbling as he and his…

Gordon Reid on his first training day with London Irish

New recruit Gordon Reid is determined to be a permanent fixture in London Irish’s front row having made the switch…

Gordon Reid

Singha 7s is a chance for players to shine, says Stephen Myler

Northampton Saints’ Stephen Myler is anticipating a vibrant atmosphere and high-octane rugby when the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s arrives at…

Stephen Myler

Mark Wilson bringing his England form back to Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons’ latest England international checked back in at his club on Monday, with Mark Wilson enthusiastic about their prospects…

Mark Wilson