Preview: Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Date published: November 20 2014

Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea has made one change to his starting side for Friday’s encounter with Sale Sharks at the Stoop.

Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea has made just one change to his starting XV for Friday’s encounter with Sale Sharks at the Stoop.

Tom Casson is the only change to the run-on side that beat Gloucester last weekend.

He starts at inside centre, replacing George Lowe who is rested as he continues his graduated return from a long term injury.

Among the replacements Danny Care, who was released back to Harlequins from England this week, is named. Care will re-join the England squad on Sunday evening to prepare for the final November Test, against Australia.

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks’ director of rugby Steve Diamond has selected an unchanged matchday squad following last weekend’s impressive 36-8 victory over London Irish.

Form: Harlequins only defeat in their last five matches in all tournaments was at Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 2 November. The Londoners have lost only one of their last twelve fixtures played at the Twickenham Stoop: 0-39 to Saracens in round 2 of Aviva Premiership Rugby. Sale Sharks last six games in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day whilst the sharks have not won away from home in any tournament since they visited Exeter in Round 20 last season. Harlequins have won their last seven encounters with Sale in Premiership rugby since the Sharks 21-17 victory at Edgeley Park in September 2010. Sale have not won at the Twickenham Stoop in the competition since May 2008, but were victorious at the venue in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last season.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Danny Care, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Jordan Turner-Hall.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Mark Jennings, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Tom Arscott, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 James Flynn, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Nick McLeod, 23 Andy Forsyth.

Date: Friday, November 21
Venue: The Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 local (GMT)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Nigel CarrickTelevision match official: Roy Maybank