Aviva Premiership

Charnley will have to earn his stripes in union - Deacon

Sale Sharks attack coach Paul Deacon believes Josh Charnley can benefit from the fact he is unlikely to earn an instant call-up to the England rugby union squad following his cross-code switch.

Deacon has been reunited with Charnley, whom he previously played alongside at Wigan Warriors, as the latter prepares to make his debut for Sale a month on from winning the Super League Grand Final in his final appearance in the 13-man game.

While the Sharks have high hopes for a player who scored 165 tries in 176 matches for Wigan, Charnley is set to avoid the same level of hype and scrutiny that accompanied Sam Burgess' move to Bath ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Burgess duly made a swift return to league, having divided opinion with his appearances in an England union jersey, but Deacon does not expect Eddie Jones to call upon Charnley until the wing has got plenty of matches for Sale under his belt.

Deacon told The Times: "So many former league players have been fast-tracked into the England team. 

"As well as Sam Burgess, think of Lesley Vainikolo, Shontayne Hape, Henry Paul, Joel Tomkins - they all probably played before they'd really earned the right.

"I think rugby union is in a stronger position now, I don't think Josh is on Eddie Jones' radar yet.

"He'll have to earn his stripes and that's a good thing."

Charnley, 25, is set to make his Sale bow in Friday's Anglo-Welsh Cup meeting with Wasps.