Anglesea looks to Cueto's leadership
December 29, 2010
Sale were mauled by the Tigers at Welford Road on Monday © Getty Images
New Sale coach Pete Anglesea has confirmed that Mark Cueto will captain the Sharks for foreseeable future as he looks to his senior players to arrest the club's dramatic fall.
Anglesea, who was took charge of the first team after Mike Brewer was sacked last week, watched on in dismay as the Sharks were thrashed 54-21 by Leicester at Welford Road on Monday. With his side shipping eight tries against a well-oiled Tigers outfit, it was evident why club lie 10th in the Aviva Premiership with the worst defensive record.
But Anglesea, a former Sale forward, is now looking to Cueto, who becomes the Sharks' sixth skipper of the season, along with the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Andrew Sheridan and Chris Jones to provide the experience and leadership to turn their season around.
"The first thing I did after taking charge was to get the senior players on my side because I played with most of them. I thought it was important to get them on board," he said. "The leadership skills of Mark Cueto will be vital to us and we're fortunate enough to have Charlie Hodgson back soon who will be another big influence on how we play."
Cueto made his 150th Premiership appearance for the Sharks on Monday and was one of the few Sale players to come out of the game with credit and with Hodgson set to return from injury in the next few weeks, Anglesea is glad to have the backing of his senior players.
"It wasn't a case of having to go to them," he told the Manchester Evening News. "We spoke within an hour of me taking over the role and they were 100 per cent behind me, probably more as a friend than anything. We want to play rugby and we want to enjoy ourselves. As regards Mark, he will be captain for the foreseeable future. He has a massive influence in rugby, he's well respected throughout the sport and certainly with the players.
"We'll probably have someone in place to take over while the Six Nations are on but we are looking to Mark to lead the club forward with heart and passion."
Anglesea is also hopeful of having England fly-half Hodgson and James Gaskell available to face second-placed Sarries.
"James Gaskell and Charlie Hodgson will both be training with the squad and I will be looking at them closely to see if we can select one or both of them in the matchday 23," he added. Andrew Sheridan will be back in contention but on the downside we have lost Ben Cohen for a few weeks with a bad knee injury he picked up at Leicester."
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