Sale have been backed to launch a strong assault on this season's Heineken Cup after they kick-started their campaign with a nine-try demolition of Calvisano.
The English champions proved far too strong for their Italian opponents as rookie Ben Foden grabbed a clinical hat-trick of tries while England fly-half Charlie Hodgson claimed a personal 22-point haul with the boot as the hosts claimed a 67-11 victory.
Dean Schofield, Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, Sebastien Chabal, Chris Bell and Chris Mayor also touched down as Sale bounced back from last week's painful 17-16 defeat at Ospreys in their Pool Three opener.
And Calvisano coach Marc Delpoux said: "Sale have got a lot of quality and strength in depth. I think it will be between them, Stade Francais, Munster and Biarritz this season."
Sharks director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre reserved special praise for rookie scrum-half Foden, who proved an able deputy for rested England winger Mark Cueto.
"Ben is going to be a fantastic player and he took his tries fantastically well," said Saint-Andre after his side comfortably claimed a bonus-point victory.
"He was outstanding on the wing and then when he ended up at scrum-half.
"We thought we could score a few tries in the last 10 or 15 minutes and so it proved.
"There were some fantastic tries and it's important that we got the five points." Saint-Andre added: "It was important that we bounced back before the two games against Stade Francais in December.
"More importantly, we came through it without any injuries although Schofield has a slight knock which we hope is nothing too serious."
Calvisano, although ultimately outclassed, proved doughty opponents but were not helped by James Downey and Valerio Bernabo receiving yellow cards either side of the break.
Delpoux admitted his side were totally outclassed as Sale's avalanche of tries cruelly exposed the gulf in class between the sides.
"We stuck in there for 60 minutes and did very well," said the Frenchman.
"But in the last 20 minutes they were just too powerful for us and that showed with the tries they scored."