Alex Sanderson says his squad is fully focused on ending the Gallagher Premiership season on a high as he looked forward to Sharks’ penultimate fixture against Wasps on Friday night (KO 7.45pm – live on BT Sport).
The Sharks Director of Rugby confirmed that winger Arron Reed is ready to return to the side after his ban following his sending off against Bristol Bears in the Champions Cup.
And he said that with several of his first team stars leaving the club in the summer, the whole squad wants to end the season on a high, starting with the visit to Coventry.
Lee Blackett’s Wasps slipped to a 20-18 defeat last time out against Lyon in the European Challenge Cup, and while Alex said that could lead to tiredness, he knows his Sharks side will need to be at their very best to keep their top-four dreams and hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions Cup alive.
He said: “Undoubtedly there could be an element of physical fatigue for Wasps because it was a long way to travel, and it was a tough game. But at this stage of the season it’s as much about the mental fatigue.
“If they’ve had the time to recover, reflect and recharge their mental batteries, and if they’re anywhere near their best then they’ll be pretty dangerous. We have to prepare for them to be hurting a little bit and fully focused on the league.
“There’s only two points between sixth and ninth in the Premiership and they have this opportunity to leapfrog us with this game and push for Europe this season. Nothing is certain and there’s still so much to play for.
“This league has been so competitive this year. We’ve revelled in that and it’s kept us in the fight since Christmas. It means we have had to be on it every week.
“We have to focus on what we are still playing for, but also on what some of the lads are leaving behind.
“The lads who are staying want to be in the Champions Cup next season because they want to play against the very best opposition and the guys who are leaving care enough about the club and their mates to be fully focused on leaving the club in a good place.
“They want to leave with respect for each other and they want respect from the guys who are staying.”
Speaking in his pre-match media briefing, Alex confirmed he will make a late decision on full-back Luke James after the 23-year-old suffered from a swollen ankle following the Champions Cup defeat against Racing 92.
Watch Alex’s full media briefing on Sharks TV below.