Captaincy may bring added responsibility and pressure but Sale Sharks skipper Josh Beaumont claims he is relishing his new role.
Blackpool-born Beaumont was named Sale captain over the summer following the retirement of Dan Braid and helped his side to an Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium in his second game in charge.
“I am enjoying the added responsibility of the captaincy; it is a challenge, but it is something I have done before and I am enjoying,” said former Arnold School pupil Beaumont, speaking at the launch of this year’s Aviva Community Fund alongside team-mates Mike Phillips and Mike Hayley.
“It is tough when you lose but you have to rally the troops and get back out there.
“I have a lot of experience around me which helps. Guys that have played with me and that I have captained before.”
The Aviva Community Fund is a nationwide initiative that lends a helping hand to local communities by offering support and funding for local clubs, causes and projects.
It has already benefited over 320,000 people, through 431 winning projects across the UK, and this year, local grassroots sports clubs can apply or reapply for funding in a new, sport-specific category.
“For me especially, the grassroots mean a lot because I started out at Fylde RFC, that’s where my dad played his rugby and his dad played,” added Beaumont.
“I played there up until the age of 21 with my brother in the same first team. I went through the system at a grassroots club, my local club and played at Durham University too, I came the old fashioned route into rugby.”
In addition to focusing on Aviva Premiership Rugby, last season’s sixth-place finish means Sale will also be playing European Champions Cup rugby this term.
And Beaumont admits he cannot wait to experience life at Europe’s top table, where Sharks will take on Saracens, Toulon and Scarlets in Pool 3.
“It is where all professional rugby players want to play, in that highest European competition,” said Beaumont.
“We have got a challenging group, but we are going to target those two games against Scarlets and then see how we go.”
Premiership Rugby and the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby Clubs are supporting the Aviva Community Fund, a nationwide initiative which offers funding of up to £25,000 to grassroots sports clubs and other community organisations close to your heart. Enter at aviva.co.uk/community-fund from September 13.