'Getting a tighthead that can scrum and run is as rare as teddy bear s*** - and you can quote me on that!'
Alex Sanderson has been signing the praises of some of his young front-rowers at Sale who could be selected for international duty this summer. England assistant Matt Proudfoot visited Sharks training in the week of their recent Heineken Champions quarter-final versus La Rochelle.
It was believed that loosehead Bevan Rodd, tighthead James Harper and hooker Ewan Ashman were all on the radar for this summer’s England programme which features an A game versus Scotland at Leicester, followed by Twickenham Test matches against USA and Canada, but it is thought that Ashman will likely stick with the Scots for whom he was capped at U20s level.
Rodd is a 20-year-old Scottish-born loosehead who has started in eleven of his 16 Premiership appearances this season having had a September 2020 league debut off the bench against Saracens. Ashman is a 21-year-old Canadian-born hooker who has started one of his seven Premiership appearances this season having made a league debut off the bench against Leicester last September.
Meanwhile, Harper is a 20-year-old English-born tighthead who has made four recent league appearances off the bench. That youthful Sale front-rower complexion is added to by Curtis Langdon, a 23-year-old English-born hooker who has started in six of his 17 league appearances this season having first appeared off the bench in September 2018.
Asked about the new Sale star front-rowers and how far they might go in their careers, Sanderson said at his weekly media briefing ahead of Friday’s visit by league leaders Bristol: “They have all shown that they can mix it in big boys rugby and that is a rare thing because front-rowers mature a little bit later, generally speaking. It’s all like kind of mid to late 20s but these guys are 20 years old, 21 years old. All of them.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 7, 2021
“You add Curtin Langdon to the mix, he’s like 23, 24, so we have got quite a few. It’s really exciting because tightheads are the highest-paid players in rugby squads right now. Getting a tighthead that can scrum and run is as rare as teddy bear s*** and you can quote me on that!
“We have got a young tighthead, a young loosehead and a young hooker, all of whom could play international rugby in the next four or five years, if not sooner. The future is really bright.”
"I rang a few Premiership clubs about finding AJ a spot. I spoke to about four or five of them…"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 25, 2021
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