ALEX Sanderson says he has no problem with rotating his Sale Sharks squad following the impressive 20-13 victory at Gallagher Premiership leaders Bristol.

The director of rugby surprisingly replaced his South African World Cup winning scrum half Faf de Kler with Will Cliff in the 54th minute with the game firmly in the balance.

But after full-back Luke James scored the decisive try three minutes from time – with AJ MacGinty kicking five penalties – Sanderson backed his rotation policy.

“I had to show faith in the boys and faith in the rotation system we are trying to use,” he said. “What do we do when we don’t have Faf available?

“It was good to get a win against a team which could be around you.”

The victory sees Sharks remain in third place but they have cut the gap on Bristol to three points who saw their six-game winning run halted at Ashton Gate.

Sanderson was delighted with the win but refuses to get carried away and now turns his attentions to Friday night’s home game against Bath.

“It’s a big win for anyone down here with the way Bristol are playing,” he said. “It’s massive for the boys as we will take confidence from the way we competed in the arm-wrestle in the final 20 minutes but it’s still early days.

“I’ll enjoy it but I’m not going to get carried away.

“A new team gets a spike in energy from a different voice. You see it in all sports but the true test will be in two months.”