SALE Sharks’ new director of rugby Alex Sanderson admitted he is "pumped" as he prepares to take charge of his first game at Leicester Tigers tomorrow night.

The Gallagher English Premiership returns to action after a two-week lay-off and Sanderson, appointed as Steve Diamond’s replacement a fortnight ago, can’t wait to get going at a club he played 90 times for.

“I’m managing to sleep at the moment, it didn’t happen last week as I was too excited,” he said.

“This week I’m just pumped and relishing the task at hand. I’ve been away and out of action for a bit with my old club, so returning to the Premiership earlier than expected brings its own anticipation and there’s also the trepidation of being director of rugby for the first time, but as I would be at Saracens, I’m just a cog in the wheel at Sale.

“Maybe a little bigger one because I have a different title, but as I have said to both the coaches and the players this week, we are a squad, this is a team effort, and we all have to contribute to the feeling in the week and the preparations for the weekend.”

Looking ahead to the Leicester clash, Sanderson said: “There’s been a spike of energy around Carrington this week, probably because there’s a new voice in town and we’ve tweaked a few things.

“But I’m hoping that will transfer to the field in terms of our intensity on Friday.

“Borths (Steve Borthwick) has done a great job at Leicester so far, looking at the Bath game as an example, they were very intense and built really well throughout the game.

“We have to match that on Friday. I think they are getting back to that ‘Old Leicester’ mentality where they challenge you at every opportunity, and that’s what we will have to deal with effectively.”