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Preview: Sale v Leicester

02nd May 2014 12:10

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Geoff Parling Leicester premiership 2014

Starts: Geoff Parling

England international forwards Geoff Parling and Tom Youngs return to the Leicester team for Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at Sale Sharks.

Parling makes a first starting appearance since his recovery from long-term injury, while Youngs resumes his place in the front-row after sitting out the match against Harlequins in the last round.

Niall Morris reclaims a place in the backline and Owen Williams is included at fly-half in the other changes to the starting line-up for the trip north.

Scrum-half Ben Youngs makes his 100th Premiership appearance since his competition debut in the 2006/07 season.

"We have still got a semi-final spot to aim for and we were a bit disappointed with how we played at Quins in the last round," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"Sale Sharks have been doing well and are also potentially still looking at the top four in the table. It's going to be a tight battle for those places with just two rounds to play."

Meanwhile, Sale have named David Seymour as captain in the absence of injured flanker Dan Braid, with Vilaimi Fahiki at number eight and James Gaskell wearing six for the game.

Dwayne Peel and Danny Cipriani form the half-back combination while the strong midfield combination of Sammy Tuitupou and Jonny Leota is outside them in what's a strong quartet.

Up front, Marc Jones gets the nod ahead of Tommy Taylor at hooker for the fixture.

Form: Sale Sharks have already qualified for a place in next season's European competition, but still have an outside chance of a spot in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals, but realistically that would require two maximum point victories. The Sharks only defeat in their last six Premiership matches was 12-27 at home to Harlequins in round 19. Leicester Tigers require a bonus point win to guarantee them a play-off place for a tenth successive season, perhaps less should Harlequins drop any points in their fixture on Sunday. The Tigers seven game winning run in the Premiership came to an end at Harlequins in round 20. Leicester have won their last eight matches against the Sharks since Sale were victorious 15-12 at Edgeley Park in the opening round of the 2009/10 season.

The teams:

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

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Blaine Scully.

Date: Saturday 3 May
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 15.15 BST (14.15 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle

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