SALE Sharks scrum-half Will Cliff has explained the importance of his side’s upcoming matches against Cardiff Blues if they are to progress in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Cliff said: “If we can get a decent win at home on the weekend and then go away to Cardiff as well and get a good result there, then we’re putting ourselves in a good place hopefully going forward and can try and push onto those quarters where we want to get to.”

Sale are currently without a win in their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign, but were able to secure a draw in their opener against four time Champions Toulouse at the AJ Bell.

Cliff also highlighted his team’s recent upturn in form heading into Saturday’s match: “We’ve won four out of five, so momentum’s built quite nicely, and then back at the AJ Bell – European Cup. It’s always an enjoyable place to be and play.”

There have been some outstanding individual performances from Sale players in this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup. Andrei Ostrikov has made more tackles than any other player in the competition and Ben Curry has also earned a place in the top ten.

Cliff gave his verdict on the quality of the squad: “Dimes’ (Steve Diamond’s) intention was always to get two really strong players in each position and you look across the squad and I think he’s done that pretty well.”

“So he’s recruited well, we’ve got some good guys in there. Now everything’s starting to gel, I can’t think of a time when I’ve been her and we’ve had a stronger squad.”

Sale Sharks will host Cardiff Blues at the AJ Bell on Saturday 9 December, with a 3pm kick-off.

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