Alex Sanderson is not content with simply a top-four place as the Sale Sharks director of rugby aims for Gallagher Premiership glory at Twickenham.

Sale will feature in the play-offs for the first time since 2006 – the only occasion they have claimed the English title – but Sanderson still wants more from his squad.

They defeated fourth-placed Harlequins 45-12 on Friday – running in seven tries – to keep their hopes of a home semi-final alive and Sale’s boss has the title in his sights.

“You’ve got to keep driving, there are three games left,” he said.

“Twickenham’s not enough, I want the cup. Everyone keeps saying, ‘you must be over the moon to make the play-offs?’ Well, I am, but we’ve got the opportunity (to win it). I’m not celebrating yet.”

Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson

Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson

Sanderson knows the challenge they will face, however, with Sale likely to play either Exeter Chiefs or Bristol Bears in the last four.

He said: “We’ve got to beat the top team maybe three times in one season and then, if not, Exeter twice, so the odds are stacked against us, but you would be a foolish person to bet against us.”

Sale will hope to have Manu Tuilagi back for next week’s clash against Exeter, a game which will decide who gets a home semi-final.

Tuilagi was forced to self-isolate after coming into close contact with a member of staff that had tested positive for Covid-19.

Sanderson says, however, that the powerhouse centre should return to training on Thursday.

“Manu’s in great form but that is the environment we’re in,” he added.

“Even if you’ve had a PCR test, a lateral flow test and they’re negative, you’ve still got to isolate.”