Hello, this is a new feature I'm aiming to run every week compiling stories about Sale Sharks from around the internet and offering some short takes on them.
Story: Marc Jones has been linked in today's MEN and Sunday's The Rugby Paper with a move to Bristol Rugby. Steve Diamond alluded to Bristol's interest in a number of Sharks players in an interview with Neil Leigh last week with The Rugby Paper also suggesting Sam Tuitupou could be another target.
My Take: Jones is an integral part of Sale's current setup and has been in fantastic form for Sale this season especially in the wake of Tommy Taylor's pre-season injury. I firmly believe Sale would like to extend his current contract and see both him and Taylor as a 1a/1b duo going forward (which is already, in my opinion, one of the best tandems in the league) but Bristol are able to far out-bid Sale in contract negotiations and a move could be a possibility for Jones, who at 27 may now be forgiven for aiming to maximise his earnings over the next few years. That said, a move to Bristol wouldn't further his chances of appearing for his native Wales and there is no guarantee that Bristol will be promoted to the Premiership this season; would Jones make the move with no guarantee of top-tier rugby next season, especially with Sale pushing for the top-six and European qualification again this season? Time will tell, I imagine its 50-50 for Jonesy right now.
Story: Another Sale story in today's MEN, Sale have confirmed that they have brought in Moldovan prop Max Cobilas - younger brother of Vadim - on a trail basis until the end of the season.
My Take: If he's anywhere near as good as his brother, this is another shrewd move showcasing Diamond's intricate knowledge of the Eastern European rugby scene. The article states that Max is a loosehead unlike Vadim who plays tighthead. Should he impress, a cross-scrum conversion ala Ross Harrison is a possibility especially as Sale are more in need of another tighthead than a loosehead currently or Max could be set to replace Darren Fearn who is still yet to feature for the Sale first team this season.
Story: The Daily Mail features an interview with Mark Cueto who suggests England snub players of call-ups if they play for an "unfashionable" lower-half side.
My Take: This is a common narrative in the media currently, especially if Danny Cipriani once again fails to get into the England squad for the Six Nations, however I think there is little truth to these beliefs. Whilst I believe Lancaster is overly conservative in naming his England squads, I don't believe he consciously opts not to choose players from the curiously ambitious "unfashionable" clubs as Cueto and Dean Richards suggest. Look at his selection of Sale's Cipriani's and Michael Paterson, London Irish's Marland Yarde and Newcastle Falcons' Kieran Brookes for England's test side for the tour of New Zealand last summer as evidence as well as the inclusion of Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor and the aforementioned Paterson in the England Expanded Squad for the Barbarians match last May. I would be very surprised if Sale aren't well represented between the England EPS and Saxons squads for the coming internationals; Cipriani, Will Addison and Josh Beaumont are all tipped to be included in some capacity.