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Young guns delight Diamond

Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond was pleased with the display of some of his young players after their 20-6 triumph over Worcester Warriors in the LV= Cup.

The Manchester outfit handed starts to the inexperienced Mike Haley, Dan Baines and Andy Hughes as Diamond made sweeping changes from the team that defeated Biarritz last week.

But, after a victory which gives them a chance of a semi-final place, Diamond said his fringe and academy individuals stepped up well.

He said: "Mike Haley played really well at full-back as well as Mark Jennings coming back from injury - and it was good to be able to give 10 minutes to people like scrum-half James Mitchell," he said.

"We got a lot out of it, we struggled in certain areas in the first half but we'll take the interpretation by the referee as it is and move on.

"We've done well and we've been able to give quite a lot of the squad a rest which is the important thing.

"You saw the difference that the bench made when they came on, there was a big impact from them."

Meanwhile, Warriors' director of rugby Dean Ryan believes that the game was another step in the development of his squad.

Although the likes of Paul Hodgson, Alex Grove, Dean Schofield and Chris Jones are all part of the first team, Ryan handed debuts to Elliott Davies, Jack Cosgrove and Andrew Boyce.

He said: "If we don't give them the opportunity, we won't find out if there's any talent there. To see those youngsters out there is outstanding.

"Cosgrove comes on and has to go against an international prop in Eifion Lewis-Roberts and that's what it's about.

"The LV is a great tournament because it allows that to happen and we have to take that opportunity. It was never in doubt that we would use those youngsters and if they could deliver a win then fantastic.

"I think that last 20 minutes showed the difference in experience but we'll push on, we'll keep using them, keep trying to grow them and one of them is going to be an outstanding Premiership player."

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