SALE Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond was proud of his side's performance despite defeat against French side Toulon last Friday night, but admitted he was disappointed they could not get the win.

The Sharks were 15-0 down after just 15 minutes at the AJ Bell Stadium, but they rallied and managed to get a try of their own through Paolo Odogwu.

They pushed for the victory in the second half, but could not get past a resolute Toulon defence.

Diamond told the club's website: "I suppose we could have kicked the penalties in front of the posts but I thought if we got over from one of those drives, it could have been an interesting last 10 minutes.

"That was our decision to go for those corners, and it was probably the right decision with the team we had out.

"It was a reasonable performance but at the end of the day, we lost and we're not happy with that.

"But everyone stood up to a man. I thought Sam James did exceptionally well at number 10 and we gave them a good run for their money.

"Sam is a good all-round footballer, he plays our shape and if we could have executed a bit better when we found gaps in the line several times, it could have been a lot different.

"We've got to dust ourselves down now, we've got a big game against Bristol this weekend."

Peter Stringer returned to action in the game, and Diamond confirmed the scrum-half wanted to play the game, despite wanting to attend Anthony Foley's funeral.

He added: "There was no debate with Peter Stringer playing.

"Our owner Ged Mason put on a plane for him and flew him in and out. He was picked on merit and played really well."

The players reported for training first thing on Monday and reviewed last Friday's performance before taking part in a training session.

Joining in was new signing Josh Charnley who has joined his new team-mates having ended his time at Wigan Warriors with a winners ring in the Super League Grand Final.