Josh out to follow Robbo’s example

Josh Charnley holds aloft the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2013
Josh Charnley holds aloft the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2013
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Chorley-born Josh Charnley has already followed in Jason Robinson’s footsteps by switching codes from rugby league side Wigan Warriors to Sale Sharks.

Now as he prepares for life in his new code, Charnley is already targeting a place in the England squad in the future.

Charnley signed off his rugby league career by scoring the winning try in Wigan’s Super League Grand Final victory over Warrington in October.

He has won three Grand Finals, two League Leaders’ Shields’ and two Challenge Cups with Warriors but is now aiming to emulate Rugby World Cup winner and ex-Sale winger Robinson by proving himself in union.

And the 25-year-old is keen to prove his doubters wrong as he prepares for his first competitive game for Premiership side Sharks when they host Wasps in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday night.

Charnley said: “My aim in rugby union? It’s always an ambition to play for England.

“When I signed my Wigan contract, I wanted to play for England and I did.

“You always want to represent your country, and it’ll be a great thing for the rugby CV to say I’ve played for both international codes so that’s my ambition, but I just want to prove people wrong and do well.

“The young England lads (Mike Haley, Josh Beaumont, Sam James and Will Addison at Sale) are a good influence on me.

“They are heading in the right direction, the one I want to be going in. It’s good to learn off them.

“They’ve been a big help to me, welcomed me in the camp, it’s been good for the first week.

“I need to prove people wrong, people have already written me off. It’s one of those where I need to go out there and do what I do best.”

Charnley said Sale’s director of rugby Steve Diamond was a key reason to why he decided to join the Sharks and he is looking forward to working with former colleague Paul Deacon, who he won the Super League with Wigan in 2010.

He said: “Steve is a big believer in me. That was a massive indicator that I was comfortable coming here.

“Paul was a good leader on the field for us.

“He’s learning the code as well so it’ll be good to have a bit of influence off him and what he’s learned on to me.”

Charnley has already had some success at the AJ Bell Stadium this season, scoring a hat-trick for Warriors, and it’s a pitch he is looking forward to calling home.

“It’s a good stadium to play at. When I came here with Wigan, it had a good atmosphere.

“Going in the home changing room instead of the away one will be different but it’s one of those stadiums I like playing at.”