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Jono Ross predicting big seasons from newest Sale Sharks

Jono Ross predicting big seasons from newest Sale Sharks

Jono Ross is predicting big things from Sale Sharks’ newest recruits as they look to improve on last season’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby performance.

The summer saw Sale bolster their attacking talent with the signings of centre Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, following his successful loan spell at the AJ Bell Stadium last season, and winger Chris Ashton, while forwards James Phillips and Joe Jones have also come in.

The new campaign got off to a frustrating start for Steve Diamond’s troops as they went down 51-23 to Harlequins last weekend but they have a chance to bounce back in their home opener against Worcester Warriors on Sunday.

And back-rower Ross is confident the club’s new recruits will help the Sharks in their quest to challenge for the top six, building on their eight-place finish last term.

“I think the arrival of Rohan Janse Van Rensburg and Chris Ashton have definitely improved the squad and so have James Phillips and Joe Jones,” he said.

“Guys like Chris Ashton have come from successful teams and will just be able to feed into what we are doing, bringing something extra and a few things they see slightly different.

“As rugby players they are absolutely quality, so hopefully they can add to what we’re building and will buy into what we’re about as that’s important.”

Only Phillips and Jones appeared for Sale in their season opener, with England winger Ashton – who made the move to Greater Manchester after a year with France in Toulon – banned for seven weeks after being cited for a tip tackle made during a pre-season friendly against Castres.

Ross added: “It’s one of those things really, it’s a difficult one. I think he is frustrated but hopefully we can move on from it as quickly as possible.”

South African-born No. 8 Ross has been a huge asset to the Sharks since he arrived last summer on a three-year deal, leading the way as the club’s top ball carrier and tackler.

But following last season’s eighth-place finish, Ross admitted the forward pack need to bring more to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby party this campaign to support the backline.

“Our forwards need to improve, we need to be a better forward unit,” he said. “We scored a lot of tries through our backs, so hopefully our forwards will improve.

“We just want to continue to build on what we did last year. We showed glimpses of it, but we’ve got to improve and be more consistent throughout the season.

“We haven’t sat down and set any targets really, barring focusing on the next game, we don’t want to look beyond that at the moment.”

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