Two young Sale Sharks front row tyros made their mark at the top level in the Premiership on Friday evening – and both have worn the claret and gold of Fylde as dual registrants in recent seasons.
Hooker Curtis Langdon (23) scored his 2nd Premiership try and prop Bevan Rodd (20) his debut score in a crucial 25-20 victory over champions Exeter Chiefs at the AJ Bell Stadium. Both have taken their chances of regular Premiership appearances this season and have impressed the Sharks new Director of Rugby, former KGS student, Alex Sanderson.
They are products of the Sharks Academy and former Academy Coach (and now the 1st XV Kicking Coach), and former Fylde Head Coach, Warren Spragg, must have been delighted to see his charges perform so well at this level.
They have come from different parts of the UK and have had rather different rugby backgrounds.
Curtis Langdon grew up in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset where he started his rugby career at the local Hornets club. He left the security of his home and school at the age of 16 to win a scholarship to famous rugby school St Paul’s in South West London and joined the London Irish Academy. In 2016 he joined the Sale Sharks Academy, was a regular in its U’18s and ultimately Jets squads. He gained representative honours in the England U’20s squad in their 2016 and 2017 campaigns.
To give him competitive senior rugby experience he went on a dual registration basis to Macclesfield, then Fylde and eventually Doncaster Knights. He made his Premiership debut for the Sharks in 2018-19 and by the following season was a regular on the replacements bench. He made his first starting appearance at Wasps in August 2020 and has now become an integral member of the squad. Two tries in the last two matches have marked him out as a strong and mobile hooker who knows his way to the line in this most competitive of leagues.
After Friday’s win over the Chiefs, Alex Sanderson told The Rugby Paper: “Curtis has got better and better and took his try really well. He told me in the week that there was in him and he showed that tonight. I’m really chuffed for him.”
Bevan Rodd grew up on the Isle of Man, played for Buchan School’s ‘Invincibles’ and then moved to Sedbergh School in Cumbria where he was a standout talent. He was an important member of the School’s Daily Mail Schools Trophy Final triumph in December 2017, starring alongside another high quality Premiership and now Scottish international Cameron Redpath. Bevan earned England age grade caps at U16s and U18s before being included in the U20s Six Natons squad in 2019.
He joined the Sale Sharks Academy in 2018 and became a regular in the U’18s and Jets squad. Injury held him up somewhat before he returned to full fitness and moved to Fylde on a dual registration basis in mid-November 2018. He was initially a replacement before earning a starting berth in January 2019 and beyond. In all he made 16 appearances in the National League and scored a couple of tries.
Injury in late 2019 ruled him out of the rest of that season before he returned to action in August 2020. He’s made 12 Premiership appearances to date and has looked increasingly comfortable at this elite level.
Sale’s previous DoR Steve Diamond who gave Rodd his initial chance said in September 2019 “Bevan is a good ball carrier, he’s a big lad who has been with us for a year and he’s humble and hard working. Hopefully he’s got a big future.”
Bevan’s link with the Fylde Coast goes beyond playing for Fylde in the 2018-19 season. His parents own accommodation in St Annes and they have been regular spectators at the Woodlands.
The very best of luck to both young players – we’ll follow your increasingly successful careers with great interest!