Preview: Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Date published: November 5 2015

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has made four changes to his starting line-up for Friday's Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at The Stoop.

Dave Ward starts at hooker, with Luke Wallace coming into the back-row. Charlie Matthews makes his first start of the season in the second-row.

In the one change to the back-line, Matt Hopper starts at inside centre.

Among the replacements, James Chisholm will look to make his first appearance of the season.

Meanwhile, loosehead prop Ross Harrison will make his 100th appearance for Sale Sharks at the age of 23, having made his debut for the side in 2012.  

Sam Tuitupou, Peter Stringer and Nev Edwards come into the side, replacing Johnny Leota, Chris Cusiter and Will Addison respectively. Edwards and Stringer will make their first starts for Sharks.

Speaking ahead of the game, Director of Rugby Steve Diamond said: "We need to take our recent home form down to Quins on Friday. 

"It will be a tough game, they have started the season very well and the Stoop is a hard place to go. 

"It's our second time in London this season and last time we were down there we lost to Saracens, so we need to get that game out of our minds and play like we did on Sunday against Northampton.”

Form: Harlequins have won two f their three matches so far in Premiership Rugby to find themselves in fourth  spot in the table. Quins only loss in their last four encounters at Twickenham Stoop in the tournament was 26-27 to Bath on 8 May. Sale Sharks have won their last two Premiership Rugby matches, at home to Worcester and Northampton Saints, but away from home have won only once in the competition since November: 52-12 at London Welsh in February. Harlequins only defeat to the Sharks in their last nine Premiership Rugby fixtures since 2010 was 12-16 at the Twickenham Stoop in November 2014. Sale have actually won on their last two visits to the venue in all tournaments.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Matt Hopper, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Jack Clifford, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Nev Edwards, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Johnny Leota.

Date: Friday, November 6
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Matthew Carly, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Sean Davey