Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath

03rd October 2013 11:44

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David Seymour Sale Aviva Premiership

Centurion: David Seymour

Flanker David Seymour will play his 100th game for Sale Sharks in Friday's Premiership clash with Bath at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale boss Steve Diamond has made several changes to his side that lost 33-14 to Northampton last weekend. Amongst the backs, Rob Miller moves from right wing to full-back where he takes over from Tom Arscott while Phil McKenzie will wear the number 14 jersey.

Jonny Leota starts in the 12 jersey alongside Andy Forsyth, who takes over at outside centre from Mark Cueto who returns to his customary position on the left wing.

In the only other back-line change, Dwayne Peel comes in for Will Cliff at scrum-half.

Up front, there's only one change with Jonathan Mills taking over from Kirill Kulemin in the second row.

Meanwhile, Ross Batty, Ollie Devoto and Will Spencer will make their first starts of the Aviva Premiership season for Bath Rugby.

Batty comes into the front row alongside the international duo of Paul James and David Wilson, whilst Will Spencer partners club captain Stuart Hooper in the second row.

The back row is unchanged from last weekend's victory over London Irish, as Matt Garvey, Guy Mercer and Leroy Houston complete the scrum.

Peter Stringer and George Ford continue to build their half-back partnership, with Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph linking up in the midfield once more.

Tom Biggs replaces Matt Banahan on the left wing, as Semesa Rokoduguni lines up on the opposite side. Devoto, a member of the England U20s Junior World Championship winning side, completes the line-up at full-back.

There are notable returns on the bench for Carl Fearns and Ben Williams, who could both make their return to first team action tomorrow night should be they called upon.

Banahan, Dave Attwood, Rob Webber, Dominic Day, and Anthony Watson all picked up injuries in the game against London Irish and were unavailable for selection this weekend.

Form: Sale Sharks' record in Aviva Premiership Rugby so far this season is an even won two, lost two. The Sharks only defeat in their last six matches at AJ Bell stadium in all competitions was 14-15 to Newcastle on 13 September. Bath's single loss in 2013/14 was 17-31 at Saracens in round 3. Bath have won just one away game in the Premiership since round one last season; 21-0 at Newcastle on the opening day of this campaign.Sale have won three of their last four meetings with Bath, whilst Bath's most recent victory on Sale soil came at Edgeley Park in February 2011.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Phil McKenzie, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Andrei Ostrikov, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Sammy Tuitupou.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18. Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Carl Fearns, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ben Williams, 23 Gavin Henson.

Date: Friday, October 4
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees : Stuart Terheege and Paul Burton
TMO: Trevor Fisher

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