Fixtures - Top Bar

Sam James backs on-song Sale Sharks for success

You cannot move for young, up-and-coming talent at Sale Sharks – and centre Sam James believes his own breakthrough year is testament to the whole team.

James, a former England Under-19 player, has scored three tries in just eight Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances this year and is part of a young and exciting back-line that includes Mike Haley and Will Addison.

He may have to wait a little longer for senior England recognition but forward Josh Beaumont has made the jump as a new member of the 33-man Elite Player Squad.

And while James continues to raise eyebrows during his first full season with Sale, he admits he’d be hard pressed to do so without the players around him. 

He said: “Josh Beaumont, he’s a great player, he breaks the first tackle every time and it’s his picking it up from the eight position that gets us 15-20 metres beyond the game line in the first phase.  
 
“His skill out wide too is second to none, he used to be a fly-half and he’ll probably be the first to tell you that. 
 
“He’s got a great set of hands and he likes the occasional kick as well. 
 
“It’s not just Beaumont, people like TJ (Ioane) too, he creates holes everywhere he goes.
 
“Vadim (Cobilas) is a great carrier. Bryn Evans, Millsy (Jonathan Mills), Andrei (Ostrikov), the list goes on and on in terms of players who can get us that front foot ball for Danny Cipriani to then work his magic.
 
“Once you’ve got the forwards doing what they do and then Danny executing the set plays that put us all in space, that has made the whole team click over the past couple of weeks.”

Having booked their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals, Sale returned to league action with a thumping 38-10 win over London Irish last weekend.

Sharks have since been hit by the news that another one of their exciting youngsters, hooker Tommy Taylor, will be departing for Wasps at the end of the season.

However, James is in no doubt that Taylor will leave the club on a high as Sale, currently in seventh with a game in hand, set their sights on the top half.

 He added: “He’s a big loss for us and will be, or in fact already is, an England prospect for the next couple of years. 
 
“He’s a threat around the park too, not just his set pieces.
 
“His breakdown work is like having another back row out there so we’ll miss him a lot.
 
“Tommy always wears his heart on his sleeve so he’s always going to give his all and do his best for the team. 
 
“That will continue until the end of the season and we’d like to see the benefits of the forwards’ progression towards the end of the season.
 
“I know there’s a big chunk of games now but I think we have the right balance to push through and get a couple of away wins.”

 

Latest News

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins