|CLUB Sale Sharks |
Dean Schofield was a member of the England Counties squad five years ago for the inaugural tour of Chile. He has since continued to show consistency, skill and fitness to earn a place on this tour of South Africa. He graduated from the Aldwinians’ club and spent most of the 2001-02 season on loan to Wakefield. One of his earliest experiences for Sale Sharks after making his debut in the 93-0 win over RDS Roma in the 2001 Parker Pen Shield was to play directly opposite Martin Johnson in a match against Leicester Tigers.
He shared in the Sharks’ Guinness Premiership title triumph a year ago and scored tries that season against Bristol, Leicester and Worcester Warriors. A member of last summer’s Barclays Churchill Cup squad he played in both of the England Saxons’ games last winter, scoring a try in the 34-5 victory over Italy A at Exeter and also started the match against Ireland A at Ravenhill that England won 30-5.
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Dean only took up rugby at 18 after leaving school to work on the building sites and while Leicester gave him a three-week trial, it was Sharks coach Steve Diamond and Academy Manager James Wade who spotted the potential in this particular raw timber. Dean was signed by Diamond and made his 100th Premiership appearance for the club in the 18-18 draw with Northampton Saints last March.
Looking back over his six years with the Sharks, he said: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time with the club. The high point has to be winning the Premiership title at Twickenham last year. We have a great bunch of lads at the club.” He also captained the Sharks against NEC Harlequins in their final Premiership match of the last season.