It's only been a week sincethe last entry on The Shark Tank but it feels like a lifetime. Sale have a huge clash against Newport Gwent-Dragons on Thursday night with the winner guaranteed a home quarter-final in a competition that looks set to be Sale's best chance of silverware this season. With that in mind (or not), let's get down to some questions:
In a perfect world Sale would have the resources at winger to play Will Addison at his preferred position of outside centre, creating this hypothetical conundrum of how best to field both Addison and Sam James. However we do not live in a perfect world and unless Addison switches club, I believe that either his immediate future remains in the number 14 shirt or Sam James will have to drop to the bench to accommodate both in the same matchday 23 especially as - in Mark Jennings - Sale have a similar calibre of prospect better suited to play the bulldozing inside centre role the Sharks typically utilise .
If however I am wrong and James and Addison do eventually comprise the same midfield one day for Sale, Sam James' size, distribution, and vision is far more suited to the inside centre role with Addison's pace and surprising strength better utilised running lines outside of him.
Flynn is now 22-years-old and has quietly been one of Sale's most impressive performers this season following an early season injury to the aforementioned Eifon Lewis-Roberts. Flynn's problem however, is that after returning from injury, Lewis-Roberts has also shown himself as continuing to be able to hold his own both in the scrum and around the park.
Yet an eye must be cast towards the future and with Lewis-Roberts turning 35 this season, ensuring Flynn continues to get ample game time this season will be paramount to the latter's development. I believe the ideal time for Flynn to take over as the main backup at Loosehead prop behind Ross Harrison will be from the beginning of next season onwards; Lewis-Roberts has been able to defy father time this season but it is unrealistic to expect him to continue to put up a similar level of performance in 2016-17, and with Flynn performing so capably this year, there is no point delaying the inevitable any longer.
Not necessarily, no.
Although it is no secret that club owner Brian Kennedy is looking to sell the club, the rhetoric from the club has always been that self-sustainability financially is the current goal and that any profits will be re-invested into the team - this is something I do not doubt.
What Sale need to stay viable and maintain competitive with the rest of the Premiership is above all an increase in average matchday attendance to well beyond the supposed break-even figure of 8,000.
Since the move to the AJ Bell, marketing has been a big area of concern for the club but is an area that is finally beginning to see improvement. Unfortunately, despite the AJ Bell being a superior stadium to Edgeley Park in every aspect except public transport links, many fans have stayed away from regular attendance in Salford and the club have been unable to replace those numbers with new fans from the new catchment area.
What Sale need is for those stay away fans to return and see the drastic improvements the stadium and matchday atmosphere has undergone in the short time the Sharks have resided at the stadium, with their support being reflected in the investment in the squad which the side needs to push it beyond the mid-table.
I actually wrote about this a few years before I started The Shark Tank although I believe the website it was published on (Sulia?) no longer exists meaning that particular team is lost to the abyss of internet irrelevance. Luckily most of a prospective 'All-Time Sale Sharks XV writes itself'*:
15 - Jason Robinson
14 - Mark Cueto
13 - Graeme Bond (probably the most difficult position to determine)
12 - Luke McAlister
11 - Steve Hanley
10 - Charlie Hodgson
9 - Richard Wigglesworth
8 - Sebastian Chabal
7 - Dan Braid
6 - Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
5 - Jason White
4 - Christian Day
3 - Vadim Cobilas? (Another tough one)
2- Sebastian Bruno
1 - Andrew Sheridan
If I've left anybody out, please remember this list was written ad hoc, off the top of my head.
Unfortunately I do not make any money out of this website and therefore cannot offer Alex any royalties.
Questions like this are always difficult because of the paucity of information regarding outgoing players on the market. That said I will give it my best go:
I have presumed this is asking who comprises Sale's best starting backline out of the players currently at the club. In my opinion that is:
15 - Mike Haley: Who else?
14 - Will Addison: Best not-a-winger at the club
13 - Sam James: Johnny Leota is stronger and more experienced but nobody outside Cipriani and maybe Addison possess the distribution and vision James does, even at such a young age.
12 - Sam Tuitupou: When he's not recklessly jumping out of the line, Tuitupou is still an incredibly capable - and physical - player. Underrated passer as well.
11 - Tom Arscott: Best actual winger at the club.
10 - Danny Cipriani: Who else?
9 - Chris Cusiter: Frustrating to watch orchestrate an attack, but Cusiter's all-round game is admittedly superior to Peter Stringer's.
Lewis Hughes wishes he made money out of this website, he'd even chip in a few quid for a new tighthead. Follow @SharkTankRugby on Twitter for more news analysis, and opinions on all things Sale Sharks