x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sale Sharks will find their teeth

The Sale Sharks owner has come out fighting following further coaching upheaval at the struggling Aviva Premiership club.

Mike Brewer stepped down as Sharks’ head coach just months after his appointment.
Mike Brewer stepped down as Sharks’ head coach just months after his appointment.

Brian Kennedy, the Sale Sharks owner, has come out fighting following further coaching upheaval at the struggling Aviva Premiership club.

New Zealander Mike Brewer has left his role as Sharks' head coach with immediate effect, his departure being announced just four days before Sale meet Leicester, the league champions, on Monday.

Brewer was only appointed earlier this year, replacing former England union and league star Jason Robinson as part of a coaching reshuffle at Edgeley Park.

But Sale currently lie 10th in the Premiership with only three wins from nine games and have little chance of progressing in Europe's Amlin Challenge Cup after successive defeats against French side Brive.

Since Sale won the Premiership title in 2006 under Frenchman Philippe Saint-Andre's direction, they have failed to secure a top-four league finish.

Last season they were 11th, ending the campaign a mere four points above relegated Worcester.

"We will now undertake a thorough search to secure the best coaching team and structure for the future," Kennedy said.

"We have a superb crop of young players coming through the academy, a set of established internationals, plus the desire to make a number of key new signings over the next six months."

Former Sale player and current academy coach Pete Anglesea will replace Brewer until the end of this season, assisted by new forwards coach Steve Scott, backs coach Byron Hayward and defence coach Graham Steadman.

Brewer, who played for New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final against South Africa, arrived in Cheshire aiming to revive Sale's fortunes. But he was unable to make an impact, although his job was not made easier by injuries to key players, including Mathew Tait, Charlie Hodgson and James Gaskell, the young forward prospect he made captain in August.

Kennedy added: "We would like to thank Mike for the dedication and commitment he has shown to the club.

"I am personally very disappointed that this has not worked out, as I have a great deal of respect for him, and of course I wish him all the best for the future. Pete Anglesea is the obvious choice to lead the team in the short term. He has been part of the club for many years as a player."