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Preview: Worcester v Sale

25th September 2009 12:44

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charlie hodgson

Charlie Hodgson: Back for Sale

Back row Netani Talei returns to the starting line-up for Worcester Warriors as they prepare for the Guinness Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at Sixways Stadium on Saturday.

Fiji international Talei replaces Kai Horstmann and will make his first start of the season at number eight as the Warriors look to return to winning ways in the league.

Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock also makes a change at hooker with Aleki Lutui starting the game and Chris Fortey moving to the bench.

Fly-half Joe Carlisle has recovered from a knee injury to make the squad for the first time this season and is named among the replacements alongside fit again prop Shaun Ruwers.

"We expect a backlash from Sale after the lost to Bath. They will have a few players back and I expect they would have had a rocket from my old friend Kingsley Jones. He will have impressed on them the need to get back to winning ways," he said.

"They have a good record at Sixways Stadium and they be coming down here keen to put the record straight after last week.

"Our challenge is to turn that around. We have had a sequence of late in this fixture in that the away team wins so it's about time we put a stop to that. We must front up and be more precise than we were against Wasps last weekend to get a result.

"I will only criticise my team if they haven't put the effort in and physicality. Against Wasps we did that, we made 143 tackles and felt we destroyed their driving maul. Structurally we were good, but weren't clinical and precise with the ball in hand, that is what we have got to improve on."

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks welcome back fly-half Charlie Hodgson.

Hodgson has missed the last two games after stubbing his toe in the win over Leicester Tigers on the opening day of the season.

Oriol Ripol and Brent Cockbain make their first starts of the new season and Lee Thomas moves back into the centres after covering for Charlie Hodgson at fly-half.

" We are delighted to welcome back Charlie although I would like to thank Lee Thomas who has done a great job for us at fly-half in Charlie's absence," said Director of Rugby Kingsley Jones.

"We were very disappointed with last Friday's performance and have talked about it as a group and worked hard in our preparation this week. We know what we have to do, but it won't be easy against Worcester who are well coached by Mike Ruddock and have some quality players in their line up including Pat Sanderson and Sam Tuitupou."

Form: Worcester Warriors have won just one of their three matches so far, but have been victorious in four of their last five games at Sixways in all competitions. Sale Sharks have not won since their opening day victory over defending Guinness Premiership champions Leicester at Edgeley Park. The Sharks return to the site of their most recent away victory: 37-20 at Sixways on 31 January. Incredibly the last seven occasions that the teams have met have resulted in a victory for the AWAY side. Sale have won on their last four visits to Sixways since a 23-10 Warriors victory on 25 February 2005.

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Adam Black, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Shaun Ruwers, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Rico Gear.

Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Chris Jones, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Brent Cockbain, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Gavin Kerr, 19 Neil Briggs, 20 David Tait, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Johnny Kennedy, 23 Chris Bell

Date: Saturday, September 25
Venue: Sixways Stadium
Kick-off: 15.00 BST
Referee: Rob Debney
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Paul Dix
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury
Television match official: Matt Peters

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
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Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
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Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
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ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
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Recent Results
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All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
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Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
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Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
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Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
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Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
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Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
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Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26