The full squad are back at Carrington. New signing Chris Cusiter chatted with Stephen Thomas and spoke about how he has settled in at the Sharks so far.
ST: Welcome to Sale, how have you settled in so far?
CC: Yeah it's been great, really good so far, it's a really good group of boys; the coaches are great, everyone is friendly, the weather has been great so far! Training has been tough but enjoyable; I've only been here a week and a half but really enjoying it so far.
ST: I must ask you about your injury you picked up in the Pro 12 Final which forced you to withdraw from the Scotland tour in the summer - have you recovered from that yet?
CC: It was concussion and a broken nose, and the tour was leaving the next day so I had to pull out the tour unfortunately, but that's cleared up now. I'm fit and fresh and ready to play a big part this season.
ST: Are you looking forward to sampling the Aviva Premiership for the first time?
CC: I am really excited about that. I've played against Premiership teams before in Europe but never in the league, so it should be really interesting. I've played in France and in the Pro 12 for a lot of years, but never here so it's a new challenge, a lot of new teams, new grounds to visit and a lot of history in a lot of teams. It's a great challenge, a tough league so I've heard - very physical but I am looking forward to it.
ST: You've come into replace Dwayne Peel, do you feel any pressure due to his good form last season or is it a new start?
CC: The coaches have signed me as they know the type of player I am, I will play as I always play and hopefully that will fit into the team. There is a lot of competition at scrum half, with Will Cliff & Nathan Fowles - very talented players and have a lot of qualities and then there is James Mitchell coming through. So there is no guarantee of getting into that team. Dwayne played really well last year and he was a big player for the club - so there is a big opportunity for one of us to come in and fill that spot. I played well last year, I was really pleased with my form - I just want to continue that.
ST: Did it help that a fellow Scot, Nathan Hines, was joining the club at the same time?
CC: Yeah it was nice, he text me and let me know he was coming here. He's just unbelievable, he's 37 and still going strong; fit as ever and not missed a session, he's great. We played together in France as well, so I know him quite well! There is a bit of Scottish influence around here with us and Brush!
ST: How do you see Sale doing this season?
CC: I think the club wants to continue and build on the success of last season, finishing in the top six and qualifying for Europe was huge achievement for the club after the year before. So it really is to build on that and go further. They weren't a million miles off the playoffs last season; they had a decent cup run. There are a lot of qualities at the club, the ground and base for success is here.
Season Tickets are available for the new season and we also have in place a Direct Debit facility to help you spread the cost. We have a few prime seats left in both the East and West Stands. If you would like more information please call 08444-994-994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back.
Here are the fixtures for the new season http://www.salesharks.com/rugby/matchcentre/fixtures.php