Preview: Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers

Date published: September 30 2016

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Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium.

One is an enforced change and the other a tactical one to the side which secured a dramatic draw against Worcester Warriors last weekend.

Mike Philips starts at scrum-half, replacing the injured Peter Stringer, with James Mitchell coming on the bench and Ross Harrison makes his first start of the season, coming into replace Eifion Lewis-Roberts.

Speaking ahead of the game, Diamond said: "They are a great side and a great club, they are always there or thereabouts at the top of the table.

"The lads know what is required of them for the game. Games between us are usually very entertaining, full bloodied encounters and I expect the same will be served up on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Tom Brady will makes his Leicester Tigers debut against former club in this clash. 

The Manchester-born wing made more than 100 appearances for the Sharks before moving to Leicester this summer and is called into the team for Saturday in place of JP Pietersen who was withdrawn at half-time in the win over Bath last weekend.

Brady recovered from a leg injury in pre-season to play in both Premiership 'A' League fixtures so far, scoring a try in the win over Wasps in Round 1 of the second-team campaign.

Another summer signing, George McGuigan, returns to the starting line-up at hooker and is joined by international props Marcos Ayerza and Dan Cole in the front row.

Ed Slater captains the team with club captain Tom Youngs starting among the replacements.

Samoa international prop Logovi'i Mulipola is in line for his first Premiership appearance of the season after being named among the replacements. 

Mulipola had surgery on a knee injury during the summer but has played in both 'A' League fixtures this month. Dom Barrow also returns to the matchday squad after sitting out the last three games.

Form: Sale Sharks drew 34-all at Worcester on Saturday but their only victory in the opening four rounds of the Premiership was when they entertained Harlequins in Round 2. The Sharks have lost three of their last five matches at AJ Bell Stadium in all tournaments. Leicester Tigers' solitary reversal so far this season came when Wasps visited Welford Road on 10 September. The Tigers have won their last two away games in the Premiership but have not won three in a row on their travels in the competition since March 2014. Sale achieved a Premiership double over Leicester last season for the first time since 2007/08 whilst the only other occasion that they have ever beaten Tigers in three successive fixtures was between 1974-76. Tigers record at AJ Bell Stadium is won three, lost one.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Nev Edwards, 13 Will Addison, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Josh Beaumont (c), 7 David Seymour, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Ross Harrison 
Replacements: 16 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Andrei Ostrikov, 19 Laurence Pearce, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Dan Mugford, 23 Sam Bedlow

Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veauinu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Mathew Tait, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Owen Williams 9 Ben Youngs,8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Ellis Genge 
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Matt Smith

Date: Saturday, 1 October
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30 (13:30 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys 
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla, Peter Allan
TMO: Geoff Warren

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