Player ratings, as we all know, are completely arbitrary and subjective, especially in rugby.
But let's do some anyway.
With over three-quarters of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership season officially in the books and Sale's player recruitment for next season nearing its completion, let's take a retrospective look at the five players the Sharks signed for this year's campaign and evaluate how well they have fared in their first (or seventh) season in Manchester.
Neil Briggs - B-
When it was announced that Neil Briggs would be returning to Sale Sharks after five seasons away with Bourgoin, London Welsh and Leicester Tigers, in truth nobody anticipated the 30-year-old wrestling away the incumbent hooker spot from young front-row stalwart Tommy Taylor. With Marc Jones' departure to Bristol confirmed earlier that season, Briggs was brought in to serve as an experienced backup and mentor to the promising duo of Taylor and his (eventual) successor Cameron Neild.
With those limited expectations as a measuring stick, it is fair to say Briggs has fulfilled his new role with aplomb.
Whilst Briggs hasn't come remotely close to displacing Tommy Taylor for the no.2 jersey nor made an impact akin to Neild's stint at blindside flanker, the German-born hooker has been serviceable in the rare instances when Taylor - who I picked last week as Sale's most impressive and consistent performer this season - has been unable to finish the 80-minute slog.
Briggs may not be as potent a striker of the ball as Taylor, nor as efficient a thrower, but for a backup hooker behind one of England's most promising talents, he's done a respectable job in relief - he's scrummaged well, revived his trademark intensity in the loose and kept Sale's lineout ticking along nicely.
Nev Edwards - B
More impressive than the feel-good story that saw him earn his first shot at Premiership rugby this season as a 27-year-old, Neville Edwards has made an admirable adjustment to life at the highest tier of the English game and transformed himself into an exciting but dependable third winger on the Sale roster.
Despite some early season struggles which made Nev look worryingly out of place in a Premiership-calibre defensive line, one has to be impressed with the dedication the ex-Rosslyn Park flyer has shown to cement his place in the Sharks' first team by working on his tackling and positioning along with his blistering turn of pace that has seen him grab a handful of tries that only a select few of his Premiership colleagues could likewise have scored.
It's unlikely Edwards will ever represent the British & Irish Lions but considering his late start to the professional game he's done a commendable job of working to make himself into a useful component in an increasingly methodical Sharks backline.
Bryn Evans - A+
I waxed lyrical about Bryn Evans in last week's piece so for fear of repeating myself I will abridge my appreciation of the Kiwi lock below.
Despite joining the Sharks in the summer as a low-key pickup following Biarritz's relegation from the Top 14, Evans has been an ideal - if not superior - replacement for last season's lineout captain Michael Paterson, served as one of the two main cogs in Sale's league-leading set-piece alongside the aforementioned Taylor and been the most consistent and efficient member of the Sharks pack, particularly important as he leads a diluted positional pool at lock.
In short, Evans has been one of the standout performers in the entire Premiership this season and by extension, a clear leader in terms of who has been the Sharks' most important signing of the last year.
Brian Mujati - C+
It has been a bit of an up-and-down campaign this season for Brian Mujati, albeit one that can be attributed to an effectively non-existent pre-season.
At his best, the Zimbabwean prop has been a genuinely game-changing scrummager who has single-handedly ripped apart opposition packs whilst also showing a deft ability to burrow over the try-line from in-close. Conversely, at times this season Mujati has struggled with missed tackles and appeared slightly lacking in match fitness - again which can be put down to his delayed arrival in Manchester over the summer.
With Vadim Cobilas moving on in the summer big things can be expected of Mujati next season when he steps in as Sale's incumbent tighthead. With a full pre-season to prepare himself, expect to see the flashes of scrummaging dominance become far more incessant.
Peter Stringer - A*
As with Bryn Evans, what was expected of Peter Stringer coming into the season has been far surpassed by his actual performances.
In his first season at the club, the 38-year-old Stringer has transcended incumbent Chris Cusiter as Sale's first choice scrum-half by virtue of his week-to-week consistency and complimentary style of play alongside the offensively-minded Cipriani, but most impressive is that the former Irish international has also managed to sustain his performances despite being asked to play a number of 80-minute games in their entirety following Cusiter's concussion problems in recent weeks.
Initially brought in as a replacement for Will Cliff (who also left for Bristol), Stringer has defied all expectations and proven once again that Steve Diamond is one of the savviest operators on the market in all of rugby.
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