Former Saracens captain Brad Barritt has described his former coach Alex Sanderson as “one of the best in the game”, after he was named as Sale Sharks’ new Director of Rugby on Friday.
Sanderson replaces Steve Diamond, who left the Sharks in December, which brings his 17-year association with Saracens to an end.
During his time at Saracens the 41-year-old would have worked extensively with Barritt, who retired last year after joining the London club in 2008. That was the same year Sanderson became the club’s forwards coach.
Shortly after the news was announced on Friday, the former England centre took to Twitter to thank the incoming head of Sale, and praise his dedication.
“THANK YOU AL!” Barritt wrote.
“Words wouldn’t do justice to what Al Sanderson brought to Saracens. A special human in so many ways.
“Tactically a brilliant coach, who’s dedication made him one of the best in the game.
“But if anyone deserves this opportunity, it’s him…
“Thank you for our great times together and wishing you nothing but the best, with your new challenge. I have no doubt you will be an incredible success…”
but if anyone deserves this opportunity, it’s him…
Thank you for our great times together and wishing you nothing but the best, with your new challenge. I have no doubt you will be an incredible success…
— Brad Barritt (@bradbarritt) January 15, 2021
Having spent the first six years of his playing career with Sale, the five-cap England international joined Saracens in 2004, but was forced to retire in 2005 with a back injury. He joined the coaching team in 2008, finishing his time at Saracens as forwards/defence coach under Mark McCall.
If Barritt was one of the players that embodied Saracens’ approach on the field over the past decade, Sanderson was one of the driving forces off it. He was the architect of their ‘Wolf Pack’ defence, which helped them win three Heineken Champions Cup titles in the last five years.
Given his credentials as a coach, Barritt is not the only person backing Sanderson to be a success in Manchester.
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