SIR Alex Ferguson was all smiles as he visited the Sale Sharks team ahead of their first Premiership final in 17 years against Saracens at Twickenham on Saturday.
The legendary former Manchester United manager gave a surprise speech to players and coaching staff ahead of Saturday’s game.
Sir Alex Ferguson visits Sale Sharks[/caption]
Sir Alex spoke to players’ one on one[/caption]
Fergie gave Sale players a pep talk ahead of their Premiership final[/caption]
After addressing the team as a whole, Fergie gave a series of one-on-one pep talks to Sale’s players, including with England centre Manu Tuilagi.
Since retiring in 2013, Sir Alex has regularly given speeches and lectures on the concept of leadership.
In 2014, Harvard announced that Fergie would take up a “long-term teaching position” where he would lecture on the strategy of winning both in business and in sport.
Sir Alex’s connection with Sale goes back six years to October 2017, when he attended their Challenge Cup clash against Toulouse.
While he admitted that was his first experience of watching a rugby game, he has maintained an ongoing relationship with the sport since then.
Eddie Jones credited Sir Alex’s team talks for providing England with the inspiration to reach the Rugby World Cup final in 2019.
He also gave a speech to Europe’s Ryder Cup team ahead of their victory over the USA in 2014.
Sale will be hoping for similar luck ahead of their clash with Saracens.
Saracens and Sale won their respective play-off semi-finals having finished first and second in the table.
Sale enter the match as underdogs, after finishing five points behind Saracens during the regular season.
They will also be without captain, Ben Curry, who misses the final after sustaining an injury against Leicester Tigers.
Saracens enter the tie as overwhelming favourites and will be hoping for a sixth title.
They were denied that opportunity last year, losing in the final to a last-minute Leicester Tigers drop goal.