After a misty start to the season, the Sharks turned their season to a fairly solid one, reaching the Semi-Finals of the European Challenge Cup, where they just lost out in a tightly contested game to La Rochelle.
Even in their league campaign, they can still salvage a top 6 finish if they are able to pick up a win over Gloucester this weekend in the last round of the Gallagher Premiership.
The rejuvenated Sharks side we started to see after the New Year is definitely owed this to their young talent they started to bring through, especially the likes of winger Arron Reed. Reed had a very strong opening season with the senior squad, racking up over 800 minutes of game time this season. In a side that has England international Chris Ashton on the wing that is some achievement for the 19-year-old.
Sale introduced their supporters to Reed, back in November as they handed him his full debut in a Gallagher Premiership game against Northampton Saints, a game which the Sharks won 18-13. Reed displayed a strong performance that day and looking back on that day he said, “I was really happy, I really enjoyed the game and I was just Happy to make my family and friends proud.”
Reed has been with the club since he was 15, but since his first start, Reed has impressively picked up a try and made up a total of 544 metres gained and has beaten 39 defenders through the season, which is very impressive for his first full season for the Sharks. When talking about this stat he said, “Whenever I get the ball I just try to go and run as fast as I can and be as explosive as possible.” he added, “It meant a lot being recognized and people realising I’m doing well.” The winger even earned a nomination for Premiership Rugby Cup breakthrough player for his performance against Saracens in November, where he set up a try and gained 100 plus meters with ball in hand.
Reed has some experienced guys to learn from, with the likes of Chris Ashton and Denny Solomona playing in his position he can pick up a lot of wisdom from the two veterans. “To have Ashton at full-back was great, having him constantly talking to you and giving that confidence in defence and attack is amazing.” “He’s such an experienced player and I’m still coming through. Denny is as well, he’s always giving me tips and it’s showing in games.”
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The former under 18 international will be hoping to build on this momentum next season and continue getting game time for his hometown club.