Preview: Sale v Gloucester

Date published: September 15 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Sale_forward_Cameron_Neild

Sale Sharks will be looking to claim their 200th Premiership victory when they play host to Gloucester at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

Steve Diamond has been forced to make one change from last week’s victory over Harlequins, with Cameron Neild coming in to replace the injured TJ Ioane at flanker.

Peter Stringer is set to make his first appearance of the season, if called off the bench.

"I think we just need some momentum, we need two wins on the bounce," said Diamond.

"We've got Gloucester coming who are a really good attacking side, who have scored 50 points already this year. Gloucester been unfortunate in both games, they are a disciplined side, in the way they play. They are a good attacking side under David Humphreys, and if we are not at our best, we won't win the game."

Meanwhile, second-row Joe Latta will make his full Premiership debut for Gloucester on Friday.

Latta's selection is one of three changes, two injury-enforced, that Gloucester make to the side that started the 23-23 draw at Worcester last week.

The New Zealander comes in for Mariano Galarza in the second-row, while Lewis Ludlow replaces Ross Moriarty at blindside flanker. The one change in the backline sees Mark Atkinson start in place of Billy Twelvetrees.

The Cherry and Whites were the only team to win at the AJ Bell Stadium last season, a notoriously tough venue to visit, in round 21 of the Premiership and will be hoping to repeat the feat.

Speaking to media this week to preview the game, defence coach Jonny Bell acknowledged that win was a morale-booster but added it will be a motivator for Sale as well.

"That's fresh in our minds and it'll be fresh in their minds as well. We're going up there with the intention of getting a win and we firmly believe we can," he said.

"I know Steve Diamond and I know that Sale will be thinking that they have a revenge mission here. We know what a good side they are, they had a good result against Harlequins.

"They're a big tough, strong mauling side. They've got good carriers in the back row and in the backs and also have fast feet in the wider channels. With or without the ball, if we're not accurate then we'll pay.

"But we're fully confident that, if we do things well and look after the processes, we can go and get a result."

Form: Sale Sharks were defeated at Newcastle Falcons in round 1 of Aviva Premiership Rugby but bounced back with a win against Harlequins last weekend. The Sharks only defeat in their last 13 Premiership Rugby matches at AJ Bell Stadium was 11-12 to Gloucester in round 21 last season. Gloucester Rugby are without a win since beating Sale 12-11 in April, however their most recent defeat on the road was 30-35 in round 19 of Aviva Premiership Rugby last year. Gloucester’s only defeat to Sale in their last four meetings was 6-23 at AJ Bell Stadium in March 2015.

The teams:

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

Gloucester: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9, Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Joe Latta, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Gareth Evans, 20 Jacob Rowan, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 James Hook, 23 Billy Twelvetrees

Date: Friday, September 16
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Simon McConnell
TMO: Sean Davey

COMMENTS