London Wasps 18-29 Sale Sharks, Aviva Premiership, September 17
Diamond allays Sheridan fears
September 17, 2011
Sale fullback Rob Miller breaks through the Wasps defence © Getty Images
Sale executive director of sport Steve Diamond does not believe loose-head prop Andrew Sheridan will be forced to quit rugby after returning home injured from the World Cup.
Sheridan faces a third shoulder operation after being ruled out of England's campaign in New Zealand, but Diamond played down concerns over the 31-year-old's future after his side's 29-18 Aviva Premiership win at Wasps this afternoon.
"I don't think he's going to retire," Diamond said. "He sees the surgeon on Monday or Tuesday. The surgeon has seen the scan and he said something needs doing. I've spoken to the lad on the phone and he's obviously down in the dumps but we'll give him the best of support. I don't think there's any rash decisions can be made.
"I just think he needs to be managed a bit better than he has been. He plays an international, misses five months and goes straight into an international. It's not conducive with that level of sport. I know that's what international coaches have to do sometimes. I don't blame them but I just think with the pressures they are under to play the top-class players, common-sense just goes out the window.
"He's played two games in 10 months - both for England - and got injured in both. If he's looked after a bit better, we're looking at how we can get two or three years out of him. I think we just get him straight again, give him a bit of love and get him playing for Sale."
Diamond was delighted, meanwhile, with the performance of his young side today. Close-season signing Fraser McKenzie opened his scoring account as Sale handed Wasps their first Premiership defeat of the season.
The 23-year-old former Scotland Under-19 captain - signed from Edinburgh - sparked a fine recovery by the Sharks, who dominated for long spells to turn the match around after trailing 10-3 after 14 minutes. Sale's other try came from skipper David Seymour with 19 points from the boot of fly-half Nick Macleod, relishing the role of front-line kicker following Charlie Hodgson's move to Saracens.
Macleod took his points tally for the campaign to 41 from three matches with five penalties and two conversions as Sale notched their second victory of the campaign. Former Sale centre Chris Bell and fly-half Ryan Davis scored the Wasps tries, with Davis adding a conversion and two penalties.
Diamond said: "Nine or 10 of our squad were 21 or under. We've 19 and 20-year-old props who are learning by the week. The scrum was very good today and we got the penalties we deserved."
He revealed Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel's withdrawal early in the second half was precautionary. "Hopefully he'll be all right for next week," said Diamond.
He added: "Peel and Nick Macleod at half-back controlled it for us. The young props (Lee Imiolek and Henry Thomas) did well, Marc Jones put some solidity into the pack and Kearnan Myall was the man of the match for me. He controlled the lineout."
Wasps rugby director Dai Young was disappointed by his side, who had won their opening two Premiership matches. "It was a poor performance," he said. "We started well but after that you have to say we came second best in everything really.
"It was disappointing from the last two performances but we lacked real accuracy and real energy as well. You just put your hands up and say they were a far better team and deserved it."
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