Anglesea: Saint-Andre years to blame
September 2, 2012
Philippe Saint-Andre enjoyed great success at Sale © Getty Images
Sale forwards coach Pete Anglesea has blamed the influx of foreign players under former boss Philippe Saint-Andre for their slide down the Aviva Premiership pecking order.
The Sharks won the Premiership and Challenge Cup under the guidance of Saint-Andre - the current France coach - before his exit in 2009, but Anglesea believes that they have since paid the price for a lack of investment in home-grown talents.
Expectations remain high for Sale this season after several years scrapping at the basement of the Premiership, although they were hammered 43-6 by Exeter Chiefs in Saturday's season opener.
"Philippe had his way and for a period the style of play he adopted was obviously successful, but we probably brought in too many imports and didn't look enough from within, in my opinion," Anglesea told the Rugby Paper.
"We didn't look to the young lads or show any faith in them. We just got the cheque book out and, as a result, when the imports left there was a bit of a void when the local lads, the heart of the club, didn't come through."
Anglesea believes that Sale are now moving in the right direction under the guidance of chief executive Steve Diamond and that there will be more for fans to savour in the coming months.
"The club has been poorly organised over the last few years, but recently, under Steve and with the backing of Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst, they've really taken the club by the scruff of the neck again," he said.
"We've started to go in the direction we should have done over the last few years. We want to bring back the identity of the north, that ethos of playing attractive rugby, and we want to play an abrasive game that attracts and entertains the fans."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Here is the line-up I believe will take to the field on Saturday, let the abuse commence." Tom Hamilton has a punt at the Lions' starting XV for the first Test in his latest Tour Diary
"Drafting former Lions heroes and rising stars into your side at short notice may make for great copy but it does not make for a great side." Graham Jenkins on the lesson from the Lions' first loss
"At full-time I could not see the field for people dancing in front of me." Tom Hamilton reflects on the Lions' defeat at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra
To coincide with the Lions' tour of Australia, and in association with Dove Men+Care, we are asking you to vote for the greatest Lions moments of the professional era