Preview: London Irish v Sale

Date published: April 10 2015

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London Irish head coach Glenn Delaney has made four changes to his starting XV for Sunday's clash with Sale at the Majedski Stadium.

Richard Palframan will make his first Premiership start at tighthead prop and joins Tom Court and David Paice in the front row. George Skivington captains the side from second row alongside Nic Rouse with Jebb Sinclair coming onto the blindside with Blair Cowan and Tom Guest in the back row.

Scott Steele is joined by Chris Noakes in the half-backs, with Fergus Mulchrone starting at 12 and Eoin Griffin outside him. In the back three Alex Lewington and Topsy Ojo start on the wings with Andrew Fenby at full-back.

Speaking of his selection Delaney, said; "We have made a few changes for this week. A few players picked up niggles last week and others have really impressed on the training pitch so have earned their chance."

Meanwhile, Sale boss Steve Diamond has named an unchanged starting XV for this clash. The Sharks' only change to their matchday squad from their previous match – a 23-6 victory over Gloucester – is amongst the replacements where Marc Jones takes over from Cameron Neild as Tommy Taylor's back-up.

Form: London Irish beat Newcastle 22-21 at Madejski Stadium in Round 18 of Aviva Premiership Rugby and have not achieved successive victories in the tournament since February 2014. The Exiles have won three of their last four home games in the tournament. Sale Sharks last four fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Sharks single away victory in any tournament since November was 52-12 at London Welsh in Round 14 of Premiership Rugby. Sale comfortably beat London Irish 36-8 at AJ Bell Stadium in November and are attempting to achieve their first Premiership Rugby double over the Exiles since season 2005/06. The Sharks have not won at Madejski Stadium since October 2006.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Richard Palframan, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Jamie Hagan, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Gerard Ellis, 23 Tom Fowlie

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Brady.

Date: Sunday, April 11
Venue: Majedski Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Greg Macdonald
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Ross Campbell
TMO: Stuart Terheege

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