Diamond: Give the North to Sale
August 31, 2012
Steve Diamond has got big plans for the Sharks © Getty Images
Sale CEO Steve Diamond has cheekily suggested that the powers that be in England's domestic game should pass some developmental responsibility in the North to his side.
With Newcastle relegated to the Championship, Sale are the only northern representatives in the Aviva Premiership - for the first time since the 1991-92 season when Orrell held the flag. Sale have made two huge signings ahead of the new season (Danny Cipriani and Richie Gray) and with their new Salford base ready for the off, Diamond is looking to establish the Sharks as the North's super club.
But with the HQ of the Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby stationed in London, Diamond believes, for the good of the game, Sale should be given more autonomy.
"Everybody keeps saying things about the North, but in reality it's only us doing anything," Diamond told the Daily Express. "I hear it from the RFU and I hear it from Premier Rugby but I see sleeves being rolled up at only one club. It's unfortunate for Newcastle, but no doubt they will come back and be a pillar of the North like they always have been. But at this moment it's down to us.
"We know the stats are true - 60% of all English internationals have come from the North, so why should we not be pumping resources up here supporting it, if this is where the organic growth of the game is? I've been back at Sale since January 2011 and I've never seen an RFU development officer at Sale Sharks. It's incredible.
"For me, all the RFU-based development officers operating in the North-west should come under the auspices of ourselves, not just tick boxes at HQ which is 250 miles away. Why not give people like myself, with a good record in development, the wherewithal to administer that? But they'll probably tell me where to go."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin