Preview: Sale v Leicester

Date published: October 28 2011

Andy Powell will make his debut for Sale when they welcome Leicester to Edgeley Park on Friday for an Aviva Premiership clash.

Andy Powell will make his debut for Sale when they welcome Leicester to Edgeley Park on Friday for an Aviva Premiership clash.

Powell joined Sale in the off-season but has yet to make his bow for the club due to international commitments. While named on the bench for the game against the Tigers, Sharks' director of sport Steve Diamond confirmed he will get some game time.

“Andy Powell returned to the club on Tuesday, chomping at the bit, and went straight into training with the lads, whom he'd already met during pre-season. He will be taking some part in the game against the Tigers,” explained Diamond.

“We've had some good sessions this week, working on several issues raised by last week's game; we're one big unit and know where we need to focus.

“The match against Leicester will be very tough – probably our hardest task of the season. We can't wait! Edgeley Park is definitely the place to be on Friday night, and we're looking to our fans to roar us on in this vital game.”

Diamond has made three changes for the game, two amongst the backs and one in the pack.

Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou form a new centre partnership while Richie Vernon starts at number eight.

Prop Tony Buckley has recovered from a bout of flu and he takes up a spot on the replacements bench as does returning hooker Joe Ward.

Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has made two personnel changes and two positional switches for the game.

George Chuter is named at hooker ahead of Tom Youngs and the experienced campaigner will be making his 250th appearance for the club, having made his debut in 2001. Flanker Tom Croft will also reach a landmark on Friday as he turns out for the Tigers for the 100th time.

In the back-line, Scott Hamilton returns to the fray, with Manu Tuilagi ruled out by a fractured cheekbone.

The younger Tuliagi's injury sees Horacio Agulla move one in from wing to outside centre, with Matt Smith trading the number thirteen jersey for the number twelve previously worn by Tuilagi. Hamilton takes Agulla's place out wide.

Star Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni returns to the squad for the first time this season and is included among the replacements alongside Ed Slater, Steve Mafi and Niall Morris who were all rested last week

“Manu suffered a broken cheekbone after a clash of heads in the Gloucester game and we'll be without him for about six weeks. Anthony Allen has had an operation on his thumb after an injury in an accident at home,” Cockerill said of his team's injury troubles.

“We're having a terrible run of luck, especially with Mathew Tait's groin injury and Billy Twelvetrees out with an ankle injury.

“But we knew we would need the whole squad to front up if we were going to push on this season. Matt Smith has been playing really well and Horacio Agulla came back from the World Cup and fitted right back in last week.

“We now have all the Test players back and we've been working hard to integrate them as quickly as possible.”

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou (c), 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Mark Easter, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Will Addison

Leicester:15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison,8 Thomas Waldrom 7 Julian Salvi 6 Tom Croft 5 Geoff Parling 4 George Skivington 3 Dan Cole 2 George Chuter 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs 17 Boris Stankovich 18 Martin Castrogiovanni 19 Steve Mafi 20 Ed Slater 21 James Grindal 22 Jeremy Staunton 23 Niall Morris

Date: Friday, October 28
Kick-off: 19:45 (18:45 GMT)
Venue: Edgeley Park
Referee: Andrew Small