Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale v London Wasps

03rd May 2013 00:23

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Christian Wade Wasps

Christian Wade: 50th appearance

Christian Wade will make his 50th appearance for London Wasps in Saturday's Premiership clash against Sale at the Salford City Stadium.

The 21-year-old also still in the race to finish as the league's top try-scorer. Wade is just two scores behind fellow Wasps winger Tom Varndell, who has scored 13 this season.

Varndell has twice previously topped the league's try scoring charts (in 2008 and 2006).

It's also a final appearance in Wasps colours for Billy Vunipola who starts at number eight while replacements Zak Taualfo, Jonathan Poff, T Rhys Thomas and Lorenzo Romano are also poised to make their final appearances for the Club.

"We're disappointed with how the season has tailed off for us so there's plenty of motivation to go and finish with a good performance and a win," said Director of Rugby Dai Young.

Meanwhile, ale Sharks go into the game hoping to finish on a high after a season which can only be described as a roller-coaster.

Pre-Christmas the team languished at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership, adrift from the other eleven clubs. However, under Steve Diamond's leadership the team turned the corner in dramatic fashion and are hoping to finish at least tenth.

The clubs have met twice this season. Last December Sharks gained a crucial losing bonus point with a last minute Jonny Leota try and Rob Miller conversion and in February Sharks inflicted Wasps first home defeat with a 33-30 win in the LV= Cup, which gained Sharks a home semi-final against Saracens.

Form: Sale's 47-7 defeat at Northampton Saints in the last round of the Aviva Premiership ended a three-game unbeaten run, while they have won just one of their last six fixtures at the Salford City Stadium in all competitions. Comparatively London Wasps have slipped to seven straight defeats in all tournaments since their 33-29 home-win over Gloucester Rugby in February, while they have only won once away to Sale since 2005.

The teams:

Sale: 15 Mark Cueto, 14 Will Addison, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Dan Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Kearnan Myall, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Sam James, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 James Cannon, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Charlie Hayter, 23 Jack Wallace.

Date: Saturday, May 4
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden and Gordon Goodliffe.

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PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
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4Exeter414
5Wasps411