Robinson rallying call for Sharks

British & Irish Lion Jason Robinson has rallied Sale Sharks for their next tough European Cup assignment but conceded: "There is no hiding place in this tournament." [more]

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British & Irish Lion Jason Robinson has rallied Sale Sharks for their next tough European Cup assignment but conceded: "There is no hiding place in this tournament."

A week after Sharks sunk their teeth into twice-European finalists Munster and took a grip on Pool One, they visit former Sale boss Paul Turner’s Newport Gwent Dragons.

While the Dragons are rank outsiders to reach the quarter-finals, their previous Rodney Parade victims include French giants Stade Francais and Perpignan, plus Powergen Cup opponents Leicester barely a month ago.

"The Dragons put in an excellent performance at Castres last Saturday, and coming away with a losing bonus point was quite some achievement," said Sharks skipper Robinson.

"There is no hiding place and no resting place in this tournament, and we know we are in for a tough game on Friday night.

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"The teams most likely to qualify for the quarter-finals are those who set, and maintain, high standards, but don’t be surprised if some of the big guns fall in the pool stages. That’s how tough this competition is to win."

Defeats for highly-fancied trio Wasps, Stade Francais and Biarritz last weekend merely underlined Robinson’s theory, and the Dragons will not just roll over, especially on home turf.

"Although we were disappointed with the loss last Saturday, the boys have taken stock from the manner in which we came back at them in the second half," said Dragons and Wales back Ceri Sweeney.

"If we had taken our opportunities, we feel we could have won the game. We have taken nothing but positives and look forward to taking on the Sharks back at Rodney Parade.

"We haven’t done as well as we would have liked away from home but as our victory over Leicester proved, we are a match for any side at Rodney Parade."

Turner has called up 6ft 9in Wales lock Luke Charteris as a solitary change from the Castres clash, while Robinson moves to wing duties with full-back Daniel Larrechea fit again.

There are also starts for hooker Sebastien Bruno and second-row Dean Schofield.

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