Danny Cipriani is excited about Sale Sharks’ prospects this season after seeing a handful of youngsters play their part in an encouraging start to Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign.
Injuries have forced Sale to call on a few fresh faces already this season, including centres Mark Jennings and Sam James.
James in particular has made a fantastic start, scoring a terrific solo try in the 20-13 win against Northampton Saints, and Cipriani is eager to him in action again soon.
“Sam’s got all the tricks in the locker as it is. I’ve seen him grow in training and get more confident, which is brilliant and he went on instinct with that try,” Cipriani said.
“It shows where he is with his confidence levels and that’s exactly where we want these young players to be.
“It’s great to have that variety and we’re going to keep challenging each other to get better. If I can pass anything down to Jamesy or [Mike] Haley, I’ll do that.
“Everyone has the skill-set, it’s just about getting the game time and keeping on doing what we’re doing.
“It’s been good to see Jenno (Jennings) get a run out the last couple of weeks and we’ve a lot of good young English players here, which is the focus because of the financial situation.
“Even if we had all the money in the world the boys are doing really well so I couldn’t see too much change.”
Cirpriani’s old friend and former class mate Neville Edwards has also made a big impression on him since arriving at the AJ Bell Stadium.
It was Cipriani who encouraged the former Bedford Blues winger to take a trial in the summer, and head coach Steve Diamond saw enough to hand him his first professional contract at the age of 27.
And the England fly half believes Edwards has what it takes to make a significant impact in the game, despite making a late start to his professional career.
“He’s brilliant, one-on-one he’s a different customer, he’s been training really well and is really focused,” added Cipriani.
“In sport I think people are too quick to cast people off or say ‘this guy’s not ready’ rather than look into the mindset of the character.
“Rather than being superficial and brushing people off, really test the character and have a look and see what they want.
“I know he’s started late but there’s no reason why he can’t go on to have a six or seven-year great career. You can see that, he wants it, he’s hungry. I think that’s what’s setting him apart in his training.”
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