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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 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
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Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
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Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
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Recent Results
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ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
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Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
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ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
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Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
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ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
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Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00