Sale Sharks travel to Darlington on Saturday for the Premiership Sevens, hoping for success in reaching the finals as they have done twice since the competition started in 2010.
In 2010, they took part in Group B against Leeds, Newcastle and Leicester at Welford Road, and the Sharks impressed finishing second in the group, including a notable result against the Tigers, winning 33-10, with Will Cliff scoring two tries on the way to victory. Finishing second meant qualifying for the Finals Day at The Rec. Sale were put into Pool A, with Northampton Saints and Saracens. Unfortunately, Sale finished bottom of this pool, not winning a game.
The next year, Sale were the hosts at Edgeley Park, with Newcastle, Worcester and Leicester traveling to Stockport to play in Group C. The Sharks were a bit rusty in their first game, losing 15-7 to Newcastle Falcons, but regrouped and managed two massive wins against Leicester, 47-0, and Worcester, 45-12, to secure second place and qualify for another finals day. The standout player on that day was Danny Bibby, who is now currently playing for England 7s in the Commonwealth Games. The Finals Day this season took place at The Stoop, and Sale were put in Group B, alongside Saracens and Bath. However, just like the previous year, Sale lost both of the two games.
In 2012, the group stages were held at Edgeley Park again - with London Welsh making their 7s debut, with Northampton and Leicester making up the Pool. And it was the debutants which surprised everyone, winning all their three games and easily qualified to the Finals Day. With the help of the vocal home crowd, Sale managed to seal second spot and also qualify. This was due to a comprehensive victory over Leicester 50-5, and a more closely fought battle against Northampton, winning 36-14. The Finals Day was back at The Rec, and the Sharks still couldn't win a game, finishing bottom of the Pool, with Gloucester and Saracens finishing above them.
Last year, the Pool stages moved, and Northampton Saints hosted Pool B at Franklin's Gardens, with Newcastle, Sale and Leicester completing the draw. It was the first year that the Sharks didn't qualify for the Finals Day, finishing third in the group, with Newcastle and Leicester finishing above them. Sale lost to Newcastle and Leicester Tigers; however they managed to beat the hosts Northampton 24-22 in a good game, with thanks to tries from John O'Donnell, Nathan and Josh Fowles.
This year, the Sharks travel Darlington Mowden Park Arena where Newcastle Falcons are the home side. London Welsh and Leicester Tigers make up the pool with the top two qualifying for the Finals Day at The Stoop on Friday 8th August. You can follow all the games, through watching the tournament on BT Sport or on Twitter and Facebook.