A season in which Sale supporters were treated to the most ambitious and exciting manner of play for a number of years concluded in ideal fashion on Saturday; an abrasive 21-16 win away to Newcastle Falcons coincided with Harlequins' 62-24 capitulation to Exeter Chiefs to hand Sale the final qualifying place for next season's European Champions Cup.
Despite a Nili Latu hat-trick, tries from David Seymour and Sam James, along with two late penalties from Joe Ford and five points from Danny Cipriani propelled Sale to victory at Kingston Park and into sixth place.
Securing a place in Europe's premier club competition for the third time in five seasons since Steve Diamond took the role of Director of Rugby whilst considering the minute budget on which Sale operate once again speaks to the unbelievable job taking place behind the scenes at the AJ Bell and the unquantifiable impact of the cohesiveness and chemistry eminent in the Sharks' collection of players.
The possibility of renewing pleasantries with some of the biggest clubs in world rugby next season is an undeniable boon to both club and community and symbolises the upward trajectory on which Diamond and all of the club's staff have the club on. Importantly, Champions Cup qualification is yet another factor which will aid any further recruitment Sale embark upon before the start of next season as they look to potentially recruit another backrow and/or a fly-half.
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