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Preview: Sale v Gloucester

06th February 2014 11:31

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Danny Cipriani Sale Worcester

Fly-half: Danny Cipriani

Sale have recalled Dwayne Peel and Danny Cipriani as their half-back combination for Friday's Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester.

The duo's return is part of wholesale changes to the line-up that took on the Ospreys in the LV= Cup last Friday, with Daniel Braid also back.

Braid joins David Seymour and James Gaskell in the back-row while Johnny Leota and Sammy Tuitupou form the strong midfield combination.

Rob Miller, Tom Brady and Mark Cueto provide the speed in the back-three at AJ Bell Stadium.

Meanwhile, second-row James Hudson will captain Gloucester for the first time as the Cherry and Whites return to Aviva Premiership action.

Having skippered his previous club, the Newcastle Falcons, wearing the captain's arm band will pose no problem for Hudson as he leads a side that sees six changes to the one that defeated London Wasps last weekend.

Nick Wood continues at loosehead, but is joined by Darren Dawidiuk and Sila Puafisi in the front row, while Elliott Stooke is back from England Saxons duty and will partner Hudson.

The back-row combination of Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Cox and Gareth Evans is unchanged.

There is a new half back pairing in Jimmy Cowan and Freddie Burns, also back from the Saxons. Ryan Mills moves from fly-half to inside centre.

The final change is Charlie Sharples resuming his usual right wing berth, Martyn Thomas switching from right wing to left.

Sale came to Kingsholm and won on the opening weekend of the season, a fact that Nigel Davies is conscious of, but the Gloucester Director of Rugby insists that his side have moved on.

"Fair dos to them, they came here and got a result. But, when we look at the performance, they scored two tries from set piece and that was the difference," he said.

"Overall the performance indicators showed that we probably should have won that game. But, when you give two sloppy tries away from scrums in the first phase, that can skew things. They've scored a few that way against us and will be looking to do the same again.

"But I think we're in a different place now. We've had a hard couple of months, but I firmly believe we've come through that.

"It's going to be tough up there, we know that. But if we focus on what we've focused on in the past couple of months, the processes we have to undertake and the intensity that we need to bring, in and around the contact area in particular, then I'll be happy."

Form: Sale Sharks won their Round 12 Aviva Premiership fixture 16-8 at Newcastle, but have not recorded back to back victories in the competition in the same season since last February. The Sharks have won their last five encounters at AJ Bell Stadium in all tournaments since Bath won there in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 8 November. Gloucester Rugby have won just two of their last eight Premiership fixtures, at home to Worcester in round 10 and away to London Irish in round 11. The Cherry and Whites two away wins in the Premiership this season came at Newcastle in September and at London Irish over Christmas. Gloucester's only victory in their last five matches against Sale in the Premiership was 29-3 at Kingsholm in November 2012. Gloucester have not beaten the Sharks on their own turf since a trip to Heywood Road in the Zurich Championship semi-finals in June 2002.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Robert Miller, 14 Thomas Brady, 13 John Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Johnathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Thomas Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Viliami Peauafi Fihaki, 20 Mark Easter, 21 William Cliff, 22 Nicholas Macleod, 23 Tom Arscott.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Cox, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson (capt), 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Will James, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Robson, 23 Shane Monahan.

Date: Friday, February 7
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Gordon Goodliffe, Ashley Rowden
Television match official: Trevor Fisher
Timekeeper: Mike Hamlin
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury and Clive Leeke

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