paul deacon

Sale Sharks travel to London Irish on Sunday afternoon on the back of a defeat to northern rivals Newcastle Falcons and without two regular starters. 

Both Ben Cury and Dan Du Preez picked up injuries in Sale’s dramatic defeat to Newcastle last Friday and whilst Du Preez should be back in a month’s time, Curry could be on the sidelines for a more lengthy period.

Talking about the setback, Sale’s Director of Rugby said: “It looks like he could be out for 3 months or so. These things do happen to every team but we’ve got to have the wear with all to get around it, It’s disappointing two big injuries in one game but that’s the sport we play.”

Sale Sharks confirmed the signing of Jean-Pierre Du Preez on Monday and Diamond was jokingly asked whether they’ve had to adjust the height of the ceiling at Carrington due to him being 6’10.

Diamond responded with: “You don’t want to have a conversation if your 5’9 like me with him and Lood De Jager let me tell you, I have to stand on the third step!

“He’s a big specimen I must admit, big broad shoulders and he’s done his first contact session this morning, so he looks good.”

Despite the current injury problems for the Sharks, Diamond confirmed that the new signing would not make his first appearance on Sunday.

Diamond said: “He won’t be available this week but the week after he will do so it frees up the lock situation a little bit.”

Looking ahead to another important and must-win game against London Irish, Diamond expects another tough test against a side who have started the season well.

He stated: “They’ve got good half-backs, good centers, highly competitive, so it will be a tough game as they’ve proven already, they beat Leicester last week and narrowly lost the week before to Worcester.”

Diamond didn’t make any excuses for the defeat last Friday, saying: “To be fair we got beat last week, we didn’t underestimate Newcastle at all, we knew what a decent, scrapping, hard-working skilful side they were because they beat Bath.”

On team news for the game, Diamond said: “The forward pack picks itself to be honest, [the] backline will be very similar, a little bit of rotation only, the lads on the bench may get an opportunity if they come off the bench and impress, against Tolouse the week after.”

For the first time since all sport was suspended in March, there will be fans back in stadiums in rugby.

For London Irish, this starts this Sunday at their new home at the Brentford Community Stadium, and the news was warmly received by Diamond who believes it gives the players a lift.

He said: “Yeah the atmosphere of it all and a new stadium as well so it will be great for them, an old historic club who are well-liked, so yeah it will be good to have fans back.”

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