Sale are on the verge of qualification for next season's Heineken Cup, thanks to a 24-19 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm yesterday. The Sharks are sixth in the Aviva Premiership, needing one point from their last match, at home to Harlequins, to confirm their place regardless of what would be a rather unlikely victory for Bath at Leicester.
Sale could soon be employing Bryan Redpath, who resigned as Gloucester head coach last week. Reports linking Redpath to Sale added spice – the Gloucester director Ryan Walkinshaw threatened a "no holds barred legal attack" – to a what was already a vital match in fiscal terms.
After it, the Sale chief executive, Steve Diamond, said: "We have had no conversations with Bryan Redpath. I have had discussions with his agent since he resigned from here but up until then, nothing. I think he has interviews at Munster and possibly Bath. But if he is available we are going to speak with him. Now he is available he is on our shopping list. We will make a decision at the end of the season. We need someone by 6 June, for pre-season."
Sale won with two tries from their full-back, Rob Miller, and 14 points from Nick Macleod. Charlie Sharples scored Gloucester's try; Freddie Burns kicked 14 points.
London Irish, who had lost seven Premiership matches on the bounce, managed to win a wholly dead rubber against Worcester, 25-16 at Sixways. Joe Ansbro, Delon Armitage and Tom Homer scored tries for the Exiles and Homer kicked 10 points; the wingers Miles Benjamin and Marcel Garvey scored tries for Worcester and Andy Goode kicked two penalties.
In the Championship play-offs, Bristol beat Doncaster Knights 39-10 and London Welsh won 33-25 at Nottingham. Bristol progress to a semi-final over two legs against the Cornish Pirates, who lost 42-25 at Leeds yesterday. Welsh will play Bedford Blues, who beat Rotherham Titans 27-0.
In the RaboDirect Pro12, Connacht beat Aironi 19-16 in Galway and Munster and the play-off-place-chasing Scarlets drew 20-20 in Llanelli.