Preview: Sale v Northampton

Date published: October 30 2015

Sale Sharks have made just one change to their side for Sunday's Premiership game against Northampton Saints at AJ Bell Stadium.

Director of rugby Steve Diamond makes the solitary tweak to the starting XV which secured the bonus-point win over Worcester Warriors last weekend.

TJ Ioane starts the game, having impressed coming off the bench against Worcester, with Magnus Lund dropping the bench.

"They're a quality side and well coached by Jim Mallinder and Dorian West," said Diamond.

"They have a lot of internationals who have returned to the side and boosted the squad. They've lost up here the last couple of times, so no doubt they'll be wanting to perform here, so we've got to be at our very best to get a result."

Meanwhile, Northampton have made three changes to the starting line-up from that which began last Saturday's Round 2 win over Newcastle, with Kahn Fotuali'i, Mikey Haywood and Michael Paterson replacing Lee Dickson, Dylan Hartley and Christian Day respectively.

With Dickson beginning the match on the bench Tom Wood has been chosen to lead the team out.

Form: Sale Sharks' last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Sharks only reversal in their last six fixtures in all competitions at AJ Bell Stadium was 23-25 to Harlequins in Premiership Rugby in April. Northampton Saints' three game losing run in the tournament ended with their 42-16 defeat of Newcastle Falcons at Milton Keynes on Saturday. The Saints have not been victorious away from home in any tournament since beating Bath 21-13 at the Recreation Ground in Aviva Premiership Rugby in February. The last five fixtures between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day whilst the Saints' record at AJ Bell Stadium in their four previous visits in all competitions is an even won two, lost two.

The teams:

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Sam James.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Tom Wood (c), 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller,
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Christian Day, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Ahsee Tuala.

Date: Sunday, November 1
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Andrew Jackson
Television match official: David Grashoff
Timekeeper: Anthony Turner
Assessor: Rowly Williams