SALE Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond hailed the impact of his exciting group of young players after Saturday's impressive 15-13 European Challenge Cup win against Lyon.

Against virtually a full-strength Lyon side, a Sharks outfit containing eight changes from the team which beat Harlequins the previous weekend produced a performance full of grit, determination and skill.

Tries from Andrei Ostrikov and Josh Beaumont, allied to a penalty and conversion from Will Cliff, were enough to secure the Sharks' sixth win from their last eight games.

And the Sale boss was full of praise for his crop of young players who more than took the fight to the big-spending French opposition.

"I think it was a good result for us against a top-four side from France," Diamond told the club's website.

"There were only a couple missing from their regular starting team and we've had to rest a few.

"Notwithstanding that I thought Cliffy did well, as did James Flynn and George Nott and it was a great win.

"Mike Haley stepped up to the mark and played really well. Will Addison has come back with no errors in his game and is looking dangerous.

"Sam James is a great running number 10. He's got a skill-set that not many people have. We'll be playing him and James O'Connor there over the next month to see what our best combo is while we wait for AJ to get fit."

The hard-earned victory extended Sale's impressive run of form at the AJ Bell Stadium with the club now having won their last six games in Salford.