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Jono Ross hoping to provide a stern challenge for league leaders

Jono Ross hoping to provide a stern challenge for league leaders

Sale Sharks skipper Jono Ross is expecting a tough match against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday but is targeting another big scalp after the Wasps win.

It’s been a topsy-turvy February thus far for the Sharks, who fell to a heavy 67-17 defeat at Northampton Saints two weeks ago but followed it up with one of the results of their season, winning 24-18 at the Ricoh Arena.

Sale are up to eighth, seven points off the Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals, and host top side Exeter at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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“They (Exeter) hold the ball so well and they want to tie you up, when they kick to the corners they’ve got a fantastic pack who can score from pick-and-goes or from mauls,” commented Ross, who was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session, where he helped lead the Lymm Under-15s training after the team won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby.

“We’re going to have to be at our best and maybe there’s teams who think ‘we hope they’re not at their best’ but we have some plans that we hope to implement against Exeter that we hope will come off!

“They’re such a fantastic team, well-coached and with some amazing players. I know they’re missing a few guys with England but they’ll be a tough, tough team to play.

“They don’t lose many games so we’ll have to be right at the top of our game.”

Ross helped lead the Lymm Under-15s training session after they won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby.

Lymm won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally, winning a training session with Ross and his Sale teammates Faf de Klerk and Denny Solomona.

The players were in good spirits after the Wasps win and if that Northampton defeat was a tough one to take then the positive news for Sale fans is that it looks to be a blip, as prior to that they’d downed Saracens in Round 12 and Gloucester at Kingsholm in Round 11.

The north west club has also been boosted by the news this week of the capture of Springboks Rob du Preez and Akker van der Merwe, who will join after the current Super Rugby season, and hooker Rob Webber’s contract extension.

Ross is clearly pleased with the Wasps win and how things are going at the AJ Bell, but knows there’s still a huge amount of fighting to be done.

He continued: “The Wasps game gave us maybe the best feeling of the season after the week before (losing at Northampton) because we were definitely disappointed with that one.

“To turn it around in a week and go to the Ricoh was a brilliant result and the first time Sale have won there. It’s a massive deal for us and we’re really proud of that.

“We know there’s still a long way to go in this competition. A lot of people have talked about how tight this competition is and you can’t write a club like Newcastle off even though they are bottom, they could still win a few games.

“So we were happy with the win over Wasps but we know we’ve got a huge game this weekend and against one of the best teams in the competition in Exeter.”

Jono Ross was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their Under-15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Lymm won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.

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