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Sharks in France to win – Longbottom

Kieran Longbottom is keen to go in to Sunday’s clash with Toulon with a positive mindset despite the French side’s impressive record.

Toulon’s only defeat on home soil came at the hands of last season’s Champions Cup winners Saracens in round one.

“We’re very much looking for a result. If you go anywhere thinking you’re not going to win, what’s the point in going?” asked Longbottom.

“We know who they are, we know they’re a big bunch of lads and they’re a good team. If we bring our energy in defence, and work our attack and set piece well, why not?

“I think we can shock them. We can do amazing things if it all comes together, and if we can bring it together this weekend it’ll go a long way to getting us the result we need.”

Despite the Sharks’ recent bad run of form, the tighthead prop is confident that the tide is beginning to turn.

“You can see by the way we’re playing now that things are starting to come together,” he explained.

“Obviously we haven’t quite got there and got the win just yet, but we feel we’re coming together and playing as a team again.”

Longbottom has recently returned from a grade three medial injury in his right knee that was sustained shortly after he joined the club in the summer.

After months on the sidelines, he spoke of how happy he is to have returned to action.

“It’s great to be back again, but I’m pretty sick of making comebacks,” he joked.

The Australian-born forward faces fierce competition at tighthead prop, with Halani Aulika having also joining in the summer, and ex-Springbok Brian Mujati, who is out of action until February.

But competition for a place is not something that phases Longbottom, and instead he says it makes the three of them better players.

“I think we all aspire to be the best and be the top player at the club, but we also help each other out as much as possible,” said the 31-year-old.

“We get together after games and chat about what we did and what we can do better. That’s the thing with scrummaging, you have to talk to people and get their opinion on it.

“It pushes you, because you want to be better, but also because you have so much information coming in and so much good influence around you.”

This article was written for the Sale Sharks website, and the original post can be viewed here.

 

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