England fly-half Charlie Hodgson has received the backing of his club director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre after being dropped for Sale's opening two Heineken Cup matches.
Hodgson was left out of the Sharks’ opening victory at Clermont Auvergne and their defeat at home to defending champions Munster on Sunday.
Fellow international Richard Wigglesworth, who was England scrum-half during the 2008 RBS 6 Nations, started at 10 for Sale in both European matches.
Saint-Andre’s selection leaves Hodgson’s international future looking increasingly bleak after a disappointing tour of New Zealand in the summer.
However, the former France back insisted Hodgson, who came on as a second half substitute against Munster, has a key role to play at Sale this season.
Saint-Andre said: “It’s always easy to speak about decisions after the game than before the game.
“Last week Wigglesworth did very well against Clermont Auvergne and that team deserved another chance against Munster.
“I make the decisions - sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong.
“But Charlie is a fantastic player and in the five seasons that I’ve been here he has played all the time.
“Today when he came on he showed what he is capable of and he tried to create a lot of things around him.
“Charlie is an intelligent guy and a hard worker. I’m sure he will be fantastic for us this year.”