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Aviva Premiership
Redpath confirmed as Sale Sharks boss
ESPN Staff
June 1, 2012
Sale Sharks' chief executive Steve Diamond and new director of rugby Bryan Redpath, Sale Sharks training ground, England, May 31, 2012
Sale Sharks' chief executive Steve Diamond watches new coach Bryan Redpath sign on with the club © www.markwilliamsonphotography.com
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Sale Sharks have confirmed the appointment of Bryan Redpath as the Aviva Premiership club's new director of rugby.

Redpath, who spent five seasons as a Sharks player, has been linked with the post ever since he quit as Gloucester head coach in April. Reports suggested his departure from Kingsholm had been prompted by an illegal approach from Sale - a claim strongly denied by the Sharks' chief executive Steve Diamond.

"What I've always wanted since returning to the club was a proven coach in the Aviva Premiership, and in Bryan Redpath that's exactly what we've got," commented Diamond. "Bryan became available from Gloucester at the end of last season. As soon as he did, we were keen to talk to him. Following our discussions he agreed to be our director of rugby, and we are delighted."

Reflecting on his return to the Sharks, former Scotland international Redpath said: "There have been a few changes here. Seven years away coaching down at Gloucester has been great for me and it's great to come back up. There are still a few 'old' faces hanging around! I'm delighted with the move and am looking forward to the challenge ahead."

Diamond has overseen a major overhaul of the club since he returned to Edgelely Park last year and he has recruited heavily ahead of the new campaign with the likes of former England international Danny Cipriani and Scotland star Richie Gray set to join the Sharks, who will also move to the Salford City Stadium next season. Diamond also took charge coaching the Sharks following the departure of head coach Tony Hanks in March and steered them into a valuable Heineken Cup qualification spot.

"It's a great move for the club to be playing at the new stadium at Salford, which is bigger and has easy access," added Redpath. "We need to make it somewhere special for Sale Sharks - the venue definitely looks as though it's going to be good for us.

"I want to carry on what Steve has started. He's brought back a club culture. People who care about playing for Sale Sharks are important. I had five great years here and loved every minute. I want to make sure that everyone is playing here for the right reasons.

"Where can it end up? I don't know. When I first came here, [owner] Brian Kennedy talked about winning the Premiership. The club did that in six years. I want to be successful as an individual. I want to be successful with Sale Sharks.

"If we can get to the top end of the Premiership, that would be great. It's not easy. Talk is cheap to reach the top four, there's a lot of hard work for us but Steve set a good standard in the last twelve months. We need to keep on that road and push every department hard."

Diamond is also delighted he will now be able to focus fully on driving the club forward off the field. "Bryan is very similar to me in many respects," he said. "His DNA was on the club for a long time, as was mine. There are two routes we need to take going forward. I can take the strategy and drive the club forward off the field, but in the last weeks of last season I found myself trying to be 'master of all trades' and have to be honest in that nobody can do that well.

"I was therefore looking for someone who had a similar hardworking, knowledgeable outlook with no 'messing around' to deal with on-field matters. Bryan is absolutely ideal. He has very similar attributes to myself, although in all honesty he was a better player.

"We said last year that we wanted to put together a 'no ego' team, full of enthusiasm. We wanted to play the way we stated from minute one and we ended up with Rob Miller as the Aviva Premiership's top try scorer and qualified for the Heineken Cup. A big year for us, really. The skill in my job is getting the recruitment right, and putting the club in the hands of successful coaches, and I'm sure that's the direction we're going."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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