Preview: Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Date published: September 30 2011

Quins return to the Stoop after their victory away at Worcester to welcome Sale Sharks in Saturday's Aviva Premiership hit-out.

Harlequins return to the Stoop on Saturday to welcome Sale Sharks after a hard fought victory away at Worcester – which saw them retain their place at the top of the Aviva Premiership standings.

There is only one change to the side that started last week against Worcester.

Mike Brown and Sam Smith will be partnered this week by Seb Stegmann, who replaces Ugo Monye. Monye came off against Worcester with a knock but is expected to be fit for the visit to Welford Road next week.

Jordan Turner Hall and George Lowe remain in the midfield, alongside Nick Evans and Karl Dickson who continue at half-back.

The starting pack remains in tact from Worcester, with Olly Kohn making his 100th competitive appearance for the club.

The bench sees the return of Joe Marler (from suspension) and James Johnston (from a recent injury) as front row replacements. Will Skinner also returns from injury, and Tom Casson re-enters the fold from his injury sustained in pre-season.

The 23 man squad continues to show home grown English talent at its spine with 21 English Qualified Players and 10 of the starting line up having graduated from the Quins academy system.

Meanwhile, Sale have made two changes, one positional, to the starting fifteen for this weekend's Round Five clash.

Sharks captain Sam Tuitupou, who made his debut from the bench last week, starts at inside centre with Will Addison switching to number thirteen.

Form: Harlequins impressive start to the new Aviva Premiership Rugby season continued with a 4th straight victory at Worcester on Saturday. The table toppers have made their best start to a campaign inEngland's top flight since they won their opening six matches of the 1996/97 Courage League season. Sale Sharks have secured three straight victories in the Premiership and have not won four successive matches in the competition since the start of the 2008/09 season. The Sharks won their most recent away game 29-18 at London Wasps two weeks ago. The last six clashes between the two teams in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Sharks most recent victory in the tournament at the Twickenham Stoop came on 4 May 2008.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Sam Smith, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Seb Stegmann, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Chris York, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw (c), 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Joe Marler, 18 James Johnston, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Casson.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Sam Tuitupou (c), 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Lee Imiolek.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Aston Croall, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Neil Briggs, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Andrew Higgins, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Date: Saturday, October 1
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Small