Sale Sharks 36 Worcester Warriors 26: Hosts' youthful backline showcase England credentials

Rob Wildman
Ben Curry celebrates his try with team mates  - Getty Images Europe

Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby, has told his young backline they to maintain their impressive form over the next month to have a chance of gaining England recognition to Argentina in June.

Sale’s backline provided four of the five tries on Friday night as two from Sam James, the centre, and one from full-back Mike Haley and wing Byron McGuigan demonstrated growing confidence. The victory increased Sale’s lead to eight points in the Premiership over Worcester who gained a valuable bonus point from a match which produced nine tries – five to four in favour of the home team.

Worcester finished strongly to score two late tries to grab that point but the match had been won by Sale’s opportunism led by James and co. Diamond said: “The England coaches came up this week to have a look at our facilities and to make sure we are ticking all the boxes. Players know they have to do well over the next four weeks to gain selection.”

Sale led 21-14 at half-time after James (twice) and Haley had exposed a Worcester team who had led 14-7 at one stage through tries from scrum-half Francois Hougaard and hooker Joe Taufete’e.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond Credit: Rex Features

The second half was far more sedate until the final 15 minutes starting when McGuigan produced a memorable kick and chase to score his team’s fourth.

Worcester responded when full-back Chris Pennell raced clear but a try from substitute forward Ben Curry and a penalty by AJ MacGinty looked to have settled the contest at 36-21.

However, Worcester grabbed a fourth try via another substitute in Biyi Alo. Though director of rugby Gary Gold was delighted at the point, which puts them 10 clear of bottom-placed Bristol, he was furious at his team’s defence.  “If you make that many mistakes you are going to get punished,” he said to put a different take on proceedings.

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