Sale head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has vowed to help Charlie Hodgson battle through his slump in form after seeing the England fly-half struggle in the Sharks’ 27-25 Zurich Premiership defeat to Wasps.
British & Irish Lions hopeful Hodgson had an indifferent RBS 6 Nations campaign with his country, displaying his mercurial talent with ball in hand, but being betrayed by his inability to kick penalties and conversions at vital times.
On his return to the Sale line-up against their rivals from London, the 24-year-old struggled from the outset, missing two early penalties before handing the goalkicking duties over to team-mate Mike Hercus.
He went off injured early in the second period, and Saint-Andre later admitted his fly-half was going through a difficult spell.
But the Sharks boss insisted the club would do all they could to help Hodgson rediscover his form – and secure a place on the Lions’ summer tour of New Zealand.
"I don’t think it (confidence) is very high at the moment," said Saint-Andre.
"The first kick he missed, the second kick he missed, and then he started to have a bad groin and stopped kicking.
"He is a good player, he is very important in our team and we will do our best to help him and I am sure he will be back to his best very quickly.
"He has showed such good things with us all season. I remember at the beginning of the season he kicked very well when we beat Leicester. And when we beat Wasps away he kicked a drop-goal from 45 yards.
"He needs to stay focused and get the confidence back."