Former captain Josh Beaumont is ready to help power Sale Sharks bid for the Gallagher Premiership title after more than nine months battling back from a knee reconstruction.
Steve Diamond, the Sale director of rugby, has revealed that Beaumont, who was injured against Wasps last November, is ready to re-join the first-team squad for the home game with Bath on September 13 having undergone two surgeries on his patella tendon and dealt with the setback of an infection in the leg.
The 6ft 7in son of World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont is still showing the effects of the injury with his leg not fully up to the pre-injury strength. However, Diamond is confident Beaumont’s lineout expertise will be added to the squad along with ex-Stormers lock Cobus Wiese who is available after Saturday’s clash with Leicester.
Second-placed Sale are currently relying on the lineout brilliance of World Cup winner Lood de Jager following the retirement of All Black Bryn Evans, but Beaumont and Wiese will take some of the workloads off of the 6ft 9in South African.
Diamond said: “Cobus Wiese will be available after Leicester and Josh will be ready for Bath. Josh has had three big injuries and he is nearly there and with Cobus coming into the squad it means we haven’t had to rush him back.
Diamond's gambit works a treat versus Bears https://t.co/0Ke1V86cPm
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 29, 2020
“He still has six per cent less muscle on that leg compared to his other one and we will just get him built up and then get some good game time out of him. We also have John Phillips and Matt Postlethwaite are also doing a good job for us in the second row to be fair.
Having beaten an understrength Bristol to regain second place, Diamond now takes his side to Leicester who are down in eleventh place and struggling to find their form under new coach Steve Borthwick.
Diamond refuses to see the match as a foregone conclusion. He added: “I always fear going to Leicester because I have very rarely won there and they have got too many good players to be in eleventh place in the league.
“We have to be going down there as they underdogs or else we will get our tails firmly put between our legs. I expect them to be fully loaded for the match.”
“I haven’t got access to a Wattbike and don’t actually own any bike! Even if I did I’m not sure riding around the roads is a good idea.”
– @JoshBeaumont1 tells @chrisjonespress about getting fit for @SaleSharksRugby during the @premrugby shutdown https://t.co/PX42gl5O8y
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 15, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now