Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Sale

09th May 2014 13:33

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James O Connor of London Irish acknowledges the crowd

Last game for Exiles: James O¿Connor

London Irish fly-half Shane Geraghty returns to the Exiles starting XV for Saturday's Premiership match against Sale Sharks at Madejski Stadium

Geraghty returns after missing last weekend's match at Gloucester through injury. He will play alongside Tomás O'Leary at scrum-half with James O'Connor, who will be making his last appearance for the Exiles before departing for Toulon, in the centre alongside Fergus Mulchrone.

Andrew Fenby, Tom Homer and Marland Yarde, who will also be wearing the Irish jersey for the last time, are in the back three.

Matt Parr, Mike Mayhew and Leo Halavatau start in the front row with Ian Gough and Nic Rouse in the second row. Jebb Sinclair, Blair Cowan and Ofisa Treviranus will start together in the back row.

s"It is our final game of the season and we want to ensure we sign off with a performance in front of our home supporters at the Madejski," said London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith.

"It will be the final game in the Irish jersey for a couple of players and they are eager to finish with a win. Sale have had a great season and will be tough opponents."

Form: London Irish's only victory in their last seven fixtures was 40-12 at home to Newcastle in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 13th April. The Exiles have won just two of their last seven Premiership encounters at Madejski Stadium. Sale Sharks last four matches have all been won by the away side on the day whilst the Sharks have won their last five away games in the Premiership; their best ever away run in the history of the tournament. Sale won 15-3 when the two sides met at AJ Bell Stadium on 20th December and have not achieved a season's double over London Irish since 2005/06. The Sharks have not been victorious at Madesjki Stadium since October 2006.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Shane Geraghty (Captain), 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Ofisa Treviranus 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 Matt Parr.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Gerard Ellis, 21 Alex Lewington, 22 Myles Dorrian, 23 Ed Hoadley

Sale Sharks: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Charlie Ingall, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Will Cliff, 8 James Gaskell 7 David Seymour, 6 Mark Easter, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Viliami Fahiki, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Mark Jennings,

Date: Saturday, April 10
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 15.15 BST
Referee: Greg Macdonald

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