Preview: Sale v Gloucester

Date published: October 7 2011

Sale Sharks welcome back their Scotland internationals for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester at Edgeley Park.

Sale Sharks welcome back their Scotland internationals for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester at Edgeley Park.

World Cup returnees Alasdair Dickinson and Richie Vernon start from the replacements bench. Also on the bench, back after injury, is hooker Joe Ward. The starting fifteen is unchanged from the team which started at Harlequins last Saturday.

“We're delighted to welcome Alasdair and Richie back from the World Cup. It's a reflection of the good things happening here at our club that they're so keen to return to the fold,” said Sharks' Head Coach Tony Hanks.

“We're playing a team which was in last season's Top Four. Gloucester have good recent form. There were a couple of focus areas rising from the Quins game, including our first half defence.”

Meanwhile, Gloucester Head Coach Bryan Redpath has also named an unchanged starting line up.

Redpath is obviously hoping that the same line up will follow up the two recent home victories over Bath and London Irish with a good performance at Edgeley Park.

In fact the only change to the matchday squad sees back row forward Matt Cox named amongst the replacements having missed out against the Exiles last weekend.

Alex Brown is still sidelined with a shoulder injury and, although Lesley Vainikolo has trained this week, he's been given a further week to regain peak fitness.

Sale have enjoyed a good start to the season and currently lie in fourth place in the table, just one above Gloucester.

It's also a fixture that very much favours the home side – the last 17 encounters between the two clubs in all competitions have all been won by the team with home field advantage.

The last time that either club triumphed on the other's home turf was when Gloucester won 44-21 at Heywood Road on 22 September 2001.

As a former Sale scrum-half, Redpath of course knows all too well what makes the Sharks tick and is expecting a tough game:

“A lot of credit must go to Sale. Steve (Diamond) coached me as a player and I know how passionate he is about the club. He's brought in a lot of new players and had to mould them into a team and he's certainly done that,” said Redpath.

“I've got a lot of time for him because his core values are old fashioned and he believes so strongly in what Sale are all about. We must respect that. If anyone ignores that, they're in for a shock on Saturday.”

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Sam Tuitupou (c), 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Lee Imiolek.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Richie Vernon, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Andrew Higgins, 23 Charlie Amesbury

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Jonny May, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Tim Taylor, 9 Nick Runciman, 8 Brett Deacon 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Will James, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 David Lyons, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 James Simpson-Daniel

Date: Saturday, October 8
Venue: Edgeley Park
Kick-off: 15.00 BST (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Sean Davey