Preview: Sale v Exeter

Date published: December 1 2016

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Sale Sharks have made four changes to their starting line-up to take on Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

Rob Webber will make his first start since the opening day of the season, replacing Neil Briggs. Andrei Ostrikov misses out, with Cameron Neild coming into the XV.

Captain Josh Beaumont partners Bryn Evans in the second-row, with Neild starting at flanker and TJ Ioane slotting in at the base of the scrum at number eight.

In the backs, Johnny Leota returns from injury to start at inside centre, partnering Sam James. Tom Arscott starts on the wing, ahead of Will Addison.

On the bench, Jonathan Mills, David Seymour and Paolo Odogwu all return to the matchday 23.

"Every time we’ve played Exeter, they’ve been in good form. They’re a good side and do all the basics well. We need to do that to stand a chance of beating them. We just need to stop worrying about things on the periphery and do our own jobs, and stop giving easy opportunities to the opposition," said Diamond.

Meanwhile, Exeter boss Rob Baxter has made a number of changes to his side as Carl Rimmer and Greg Holmes come into the front-row in place of Ben Moon and Harry Williams; the experienced Geoff Parling gets the nod over Jonny Hill in the second-row, while Don Armand returns for the first time since September in place of Dave Dennis in the back-row.

Behind, Sam Hill comes into the centre in place of Ian Whitten, who became a father for the first time this week, and Australia international Lachie Turner starts at full-back with Phil Dollman ruled out following a knock he picked up against Worcester.

On the bench, Italian back Michele Campagnaro gets his first involvement in a Premiership squad this season after returning from international duties with the Azzurri last weekend against Tonga.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Josh Charnley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Josh Beaumont (c), 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Paolo Odogwu

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Don Armand, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Michele Campagnaro

Date: Friday, December 2
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Paul Dix
TMO: David Rose

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