ALEX SANDERSON has been tipped to prove a huge success as Sale director of rugby by his former Saracens protégé and current Wallabies scrum coach Petrus du Plessis.
As first revealed by TRP on December 13, Sarries’ long-serving forwards guru Sanderson was targeted by his old club as their new boss following Steve Diamond’s abrupt departure last month.
Skills and attack coach Paul Deacon, 41, stepped up as interim head coach and has since guided the Sharks to two wins and three defeats. If you want the chance to win at the top-rated online casinos in the UK visit OnlineCasinos.co.uk.
Deacon, who had stated his desire to become permanent head coach, will remain in that role after Sanderson was this week appointed above him.
Du Plessis, who was coached by Sanderson at Sarries where he won three Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups, said: “Alex is a superb coach and certainly a massive loss to Saracens.
“He’s an extrovert and the guy who ran all the team meetings at Sarries – he would speak up on behalf of the players and is a very funny character.
“He’s got an excellent rugby brain and I got on really well with him.
“He is a huge appointment for Sale although, to take the top job like he has, he will probably have to tone down some of his madness!
“But he’s great bloke and has learnt from the best when working under Brendan Venter, Eddie Jones and Mark McCall at Sarries. When he took over from Paul Gustard, he made our defence even stronger and he’s the workhorse whereas Mark McCall is more the silent leader, sitting back.
“Alex coached me right from the start of my time there and I think the Sale job’s a great move for him.” Sanderson, 41, is a native of the north-west and enjoyed a successful playing career with Sale before heading south to join Sarries.
The former back rower was forced to retire aged just 26 due to a chronic back problem but went on to carve out a fine reputation at Saracens as a coach.
Du Plessis added: “In a way, I’m surprised to see Alex take the Sale job because I always had him down as a Saracens man.
“But remember he captained Sale so maybe he wants to go back to where he comes from and to a club with whom he has a lot of history.
“Alex has earned his stripes for 16 years as a coach and now I think it’s time for him to make the step up.” Du Plessis, meanwhile, is enjoying life on the Gold Coast in Australia where he works as the Wallabies’ scrum coach.
He said: “Queensland is now virtually Covid-free and we can go to gyms, beaches, nightclubs and bars, so it’s all good here.”