Dan Mugford: Sale Sharks fly-half 'felt like prize winner' at training
When fly-half Dan Mugford joined Sale Sharks this summer he found himself amazed at who he would be receiving passes from.
Former Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips, 34, and Ireland's most capped number nine Peter Stringer, 38, would be playing inside of him, two of the most experienced scrum-halves ever.
Mugford, 25, joined Sale from Nottingham this summer having never played in the Premiership before.
"It was bizarre. The first couple of weeks I felt like I was a prize winner around the club," he told BBC Sport.
"Now I've settled in they're my team-mates, and my mates, and it is fantastic to call them that.
He joked: "For the first few weeks I didn't really want to talk to them [Phillips and Stringer], I was scared and thought about asking for their autographs instead really."
The former Exeter academy player, who has had stints at London Scottish and Plymouth, is one of two new fly-halves that have joined the Sharks this season along with USA international AJ MacGinty.
He came on as a replacement for MacGinty to make his first appearance in Sale's 19-17 season opening loss at Newcastle, where he set up a try with a superb grubber kick but then missed a last-minute penalty to win the game.
"Unfortunately for me I couldn't get that kick over at the end which would have been a dream story for me and a great start for the team," he added.
"Me and AJ get on very well and we like to bounce ideas off each other and the coaches. We're both just trying to push as hard as we can to get better as individuals and therefore helping the team."