Newcastle Falcons are still searching for their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win of the season but Sale Sharks won’t be taking anything for granted when the two sides meet at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani has helped his team to a strong start to their campaign, particularly at home, and they currently sit seventh with ten points from four games.
Falcons, by contrast, have yet to pick up a point, but did record a first win of the season in all competitions when they hammered Russian side Enisei STM in the Challenge Cup last weekend.
And Cipriani believes Newcastle will offer a stern threat to the Sharks when they travel to Salford this weekend.
“The points table is deceiving,” he said.
“They haven’t started well but they’re a very good team with a very good coaching setup with Dave Walder and John Wells there.
“They have a good way of slowing the ball up so we have to look after ourselves and our breakdown and make sure we’re clean on that front.
“It’ll be a good test to see where we’re at, I’m looking forward to it.
“We have to stick to our guns and get a victory against Newcastle.”
It has been a struggle for the Falcons early on this season, with their last Aviva Premiership Rugby action coming in a 28-20 loss at Worcester Warriors.
However prop Jon Welsh, who joined in the summer from Glasgow, believes there is plenty of reason for optimism despite a slow start.
“We wanted to make sure we came into this game with a win under our belts,” said Welsh.
“It’s been really tough for us so far this season but we do feel like the performances are getting better.
“We always knew it was going to take a bit of time but hopefully now we can start to get some results.”
AJ Bell Stadium, 2.30pm
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (7th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher.