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Preview: Sale v Saracens

08th March 2013 12:48

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Matt Stevens Saracens v Sale Aviva

Hunted: Matt Stevens

Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has named his side for Sunday afternoon's LV Cup Semi Final against Saracens.

The game is Saracens third trip to the stadium this season. They were our first opponents in the Aviva Premiership in September, which they won 23-16, but Sale Sharks beat Saracens 25-23 in the Group Stages of the LV Cup last November.

Meanwhile, Nick Auterac, Jamie George and Petrus du Plessis make up the Saracens front row while captain Nils Mordt and Ben Spencer are the half-back pairing.

Justin Melck continues his return from injury in the back row while Chris Wyles and Mouritz Botha are also in the side. Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, Neil de Kock and Charlie Hodgson are among those named on the replacement's bench.

Saracens have won both league meetings between the two sides while a penalty kick proved to be the difference in Sale's favour in the LV=Cup pool game in Manchester earlier this season.

"We have reached this stage in the past and we have not progressed so we want to get into the final as this is a cup we have never won," said Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson.

"Going into the game it's important that we rely on of some of things that we have done well traditionally as a side. That's a strong defence, winning the territorial battle and taking the points when they are available.

"Sale are a very proud club and you expect them to compete, in every aspect and every phase of the game. It's going to be tough up there, but we are looking forward to it."

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Nick Macleod, 11 Charlie Ingall, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Tom Holmes, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 James Doyle, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Sam James, 23 Will Addison.

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 James Short, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Joe Maddock, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Nick Fenton-Wells, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Jack Wilson.

Date: Sunday, March 10
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Referee: J.P.Doyle

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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954