Sale Sharks: Steve Diamond rejects Mark McCall's criticism

By Nathan MiddletonBBC Sport
Sale Sharks players
Sale Sharks celebrate Mark Cueto's try in their 34-28 win over Newcastle

Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has called Saracens counterpart Mark McCall "desperate" for questioning Sale's motivationexternal-link for their trip to Exeter.

Speaking after Sarries' loss to the Chiefs, McCall referenced Sale's 65-10 loss at Munster when they were already out of the European Champions Cup.

Saracens need to beat relegated London Welsh on Saturday and hope Exeter lose to finish in a top-four play-off spot.

"I think he should just concentrate on motivating his own team," Diamond said.

"All they've got to do is beat London Welsh like everybody else has done, it's ridiculous.

"When people are most desperate, they say the most desperate things.

"I think he is disappointed that his own motivation isn't good enough to get that Harlem Globetrotter team to beat a really good, workman side like Exeter."

Premiership table
Leicester, Exeter and Saracens are all aiming to finish in the top four play-off places

It is the final round of fixtures in the Premiership and Sale could still finish in the top six if they win at Exeter and Wasps lose at London Irish. Although they would be level on points, Sale would go ahead of them based on their higher number of wins.

Diamond believes his side will probably have to score four tries to secure a bonus-point win in order to get a European Champions Cup place.

"We're in an unlikely position where if we win the game, and get a bonus point, against one of the top performing teams, we could, if results don't go the way of other teams, get in sixth spot," the Sharks director of rugby told BBC Sport.

"Since Christmas we've lost two or three crucial games - whether that is the quality of the squad, or the opposition playing better than us on the day is debateable.

"We will be disappointed if we don't go into the Champions Cup."

Diamond also confirmed Sale will announce the signing of a scrum-half and second-row next week.

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