Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale Sharks v London Irish

15th April 2011 14:01

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George Stowers London Irish v Sale Sharks

At eight for Exiles: George Stowers

London Irish welcome back England prop Alex Corbisiero for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at the Reebok Stadium.

Corbisiero makes his first start for the Exiles since returning from Six Nations duty.

David Paice, who has scored two tries in two games, starts at hooker and Romanian international Paulica Ion replaces Faan Rautenbach. Bob Casey rejoins Nick Kennedy in the second row while Seilala Mapusua captains the side.

"The whole squad is aware of the importance of Saturday's game with Sale Sharks," said London Irish Head Coach Toby Booth.

"There are only five points separating us for from fourth place, so we go to the Reebok Stadium knowing what we have to do and intend to come away with the right result."

Meanwhile, Carl Fearns has recovered from a knee injury and starts at openside flanker for Sale Sharks.

Will Addison makes his first Premiership start.

"This game is another example of the way the club is moving forward," said Sharks Head Coach Pete Anglesea of the move to Reebok Stadium

"It's an exciting venture, with our biggest ever crowd for a home game. We're in confident mood, looking forward to successive wins.

Form: The Sharks have won just one of their last eight Premiership clashes with Irish: 14-8 at Edgeley Park on 9 January 2009. Reebok Stadium in Bolton becomes the 30th different venue for Premiership Rugby, and hosts its first game of rugby union after six previous games of rugby league at the stadium. Sale Sharks' last four games have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Sharks are going for a third successive home win in the Premiership for the first time since season 2008/09. The last eleven matches contested by London Irish have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Exiles have slipped to ten straight away defeats since they beat Exeter 12-9 at Sandy Park on 23 October.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Paul Williams, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11Will Addison, 10 Charlie Hodgson (capt), 9Will Cliff, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Sean Cox, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Lee Imiolek, 18 Andrew Sheridan, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Neil McMillan, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Kyle Tonetti.

London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua (captain), 11 Tom Homer, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 George Stowers 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Bob Casey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Clarke Dermody, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Gary Johnson, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Jonathan Joseph, 22 Chris Malone, 23 Darren Allinson

Date: Saturday, April 16
Venue: Reebok Stadium
Kick-off: 17.30 (16.30 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle

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