Cueto named Sale captain

New Sale Sharks coach Pete Anglesea has made his first major decision since taking charge of the Aviva Premiership strugglers by handing the captaincy to England winger Mark Cueto.

Anglesea was handed the reins at Edgeley Park until the end of the season after former New Zealand flanker Mike Brewer was shown the door by owner Brian Kennedy last week. His first game in charge ended in a 54-21 hiding at the hands of reigning champions Leicester and the Stockport-based side lie 10th in the table, with just three wins from their 10 games.

Cueto, who performed so impressively for England in last month's autumn internationals, will be Sale's sixth captain of the season and former Sharks back-rower Anglesea hopes the winger and fellow senior players such as prop Andrew Sheridan and lock Chris Jones can help him turn things around as his side prepare for the visit of Saracens on Sunday.

"The first thing I did after taking charge was to get the senior players on my side because I played with most of them. I thought it was important to get them on board," said Anglesea.

"The leadership skills of Mark Cueto will be vital to us.

"We'll probably have someone in place to take over while the Six Nations are on, but we are looking to Mark to lead the club forward with heart and passion."

Anglesea is also hopeful of having England fly-half Charlie Hodgson and James Gaskell available to face second-placed Sarries.

"James Gaskell and Charlie Hodgson will both be training with the squad and I will be looking at them closely to see if we can select one or both of them in the matchday 23," he added.

"Andrew Sheridan will be back in contention, but on the downside we have lost Ben Cohen for a few weeks with a bad knee injury he picked up at Leicester."