Polished Diamond happy to shoulder the burden at Sale


It cannot be long now before Steve Diamond fishes his boots out of the bottom drawer and resumes his place in the middle of the Sale front row. Why not? He's doing everything else.

The former hooker will take over as the fast-improving northern club's chief executive at the end of the month while continuing his role as executive director of sport, thereby becoming the Premiership's busiest man as well as the one with the longest job title in world rugby. If the former champions finish in a Heineken Cup qualifying place, he will deserve a medal the size of a soup bowl.

Diamond succeeds Mick Hogan as CEO following the latter's decision to move to England Rugby 2015, the organisation set up to deliver the home World Cup in a little over three and a half years' time. In the professional era, only Mark Evans of Harlequins has shouldered such a burden.

Ian Blackhurst, the club's co-owner, said he had been discussing the move with Diamond and the principal investor Brian Kennedy for some time. "Mark Evans set the foundations for where Harlequins are today," Blackhurst commented, referring to the Londoners' success in last season's Amlin Challenge Cup and their blistering start to the current campaign. His hope is that Diamond, who rejoined the club a year ago after a coaching spell at Saracens and a productive tour of duty with the Russian national team, can achieve something similar.

Things are certainly happening at Sale. There is continuing investment at the training ground in Carrington, next door to Manchester United's slightly grander facility, and the entire administrative operation will soon be based there. There are also discussions with Salford rugby league club about a possible groundshare at the new Barton Bridge stadium. "We are in negotiations, but it has to be commercially right," Blackhurst said.

According to Diamond, who has strengthened his side with some intelligent signings and has secured the services of the brilliant young Scottish forward Richie Gray for next season, two more eye-catching recruits will be confirmed shortly. "We've worked hard on this over Christmas," he said, adding that details could not be divulged immediately for contractual reasons.

Whoever those new signings turn out to be, Sale will be praying for better productivity than Worcester are likely to get from their newly-recruited Samoan No 8 Ezra Taylor, who suffered a serious knee injury just two minutes into his debut against Wasps at the weekend and will not play again this season. "The jinx continues," said the Midlanders' head coach, Richard Hill, who has three more loose forwards unavailable in Neil Best, Kai Horstmann and Adam Balding. "I don't want to go back into the market, though. As you can see, it's not working for us." None of the injured players will be fit for the home derby with Gloucester on Saturday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
Nemanja Matic holds the Capital One Cup with Branislav Ivanovic on Sunday
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th-century cartographer created the atlas
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot