And now for something completely different for Sale fans after three testing weeks - some good news.
Academy graduate, former England Saxon and incumbent Sale Sharks fullback Mike Haley has been selected as part of Eddie Jones' 33-man England squad for the Autumn International series.
Haley, 22, is the only Sharks player picked to represent any of the Home Nations in the end-of-year-tests, with Josh Beaumont a surprise exclusion from the England EPS selection.
Haley is included in the squad alongside both Mike Brown and Alex Goode, the two players who have held a duopoly on the no.15 shirt for the past half-decade. However after a sterling England debut on the Saxons tour to South Africa (despite suffering a broken shoulder in the second game), Haley appears to have forced Jones' hand into picking the Lancastrian in the Elite Player Squad for the first time.
Whether Haley will be afforded the opportunity to make his full international debut during either one of the tests against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina, or Australia is uncertain although the lengthy nature of a four-test series, alongside the inclusion of only three distinguished wingers in the 33-man squad (with the implication that Alex Goode could cover either wing) suggests Haley should become the first Sale player to represent England in a full test capacity since Danny Cipriani in the 2015 Six Nations (and only second since Mark Cueto and Andrew Sheridan in the 2011 Six Nations).
Haley's gain - and after two meritorious seasons at the Premiership level with Sale it is a well-deserved accolade - is Josh Beaumont's loss. Beaumont was included in Eddie Jones' inaugural EPS selection for the 2016 Six Nations although the Sharks captain failed to feature, and despite being tipped to be included again in the EPS as a lock-cum-number-eight option, Beaumont finds himself on the outside looking-in.
Whilst it is fair to say Beaumont has not started the 2016-17 season in the same barnstorming form that brought him to prominence over the previous 18 months, to be omitted entirely is quite a surprise considering the current dearth of back-five options Jones and England have at their disposal (Jack Clifford, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Sam Jones, Mike Williams). Beaumont's inclusion in the pre-season 45-man wider training squad does suggest however that he remains in Jones' plans and that a full international cap is inevitable, especially should his performances return to their bullish, 2015 best.
Follow The Shark Tank on Twitter for more news, analysis and opinions on all things Sale Sharks.