Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale v London Welsh

20th September 2012 12:11

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Andy Powell: Returns to action

Sale Sharks back row Andy Powell has been named in director of rugby Bryan Redpath's starting XV for Friday's clash with London Welsh in Salford.

Powell is joined in the back row by Mark Easter as the only changes to the side which lost 37-11 to Harlequins last week.

Redpath is excited by Powell's return to action.

"Andy Powell is back 'in the mix' and gives us a huge, ball-carrying emphasis.

"We haven't gone for wholesale changes because we believe that these players need to rectify some of the issues from the Quins game.

"It's been disappointing to lose three games but we need to make sure that we don't over analyse or panic.

"We were in the game last weekend but didn't take some chances that could have led to pressure, if not a scoring opportunity. London Welsh present a massive challenge, one to which we're looking forward."

Meanwhile, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has made just one enforced change with Michael Hills replacing the injured Mike Denbee at openside for what will be his first competitive appearance of the season.

Captain Jonathan Mills has recovered from the facial injury he sustained last Sunday to again lead the side.

On the bench, Dan Williamson replaces Alfie To'oala, who picked up a knock in training, while scrum half cover is provided by Nick Runciman, who replaces Jonah Holmes.

Welsh will line up with two former Sharks in their starting XV, in hooker Neil Briggs and Hills.

Briggs joined Sale in 2005 from Rotherham Titans and spent six seasons at the club before leaving to join Bourgoin in 2011. Hills came through the Sale Academy before establishing himself in the first-team squad. He joined Welsh from Sale in 2009 and will make his 73rd appearance for the Exiles on Friday.

Form: Sale Sharks have slipped to four straight defeats in Aviva Premiership Rugby, but haven't lost five in succession in the tournament since 2007. London Welsh obtained a maiden Premiership victory at home to Exeter Chiefs on Sunday thanks to a Seb Jewell conversion of Ed Jackson's try with just two minutes left for a 25-24 win. The two sides have not met in a competitive match since Sale gained a 16-9 win at Old Deer Park in the old Division Two in January 1989, whilst the Exiles' only previous visit to Sale in a major game was in the quarter-final of the 1975/76 John Player Cup at Heywood Road where again Sale were victorious 16-14.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Mark Easter, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Richie Vernon, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Corne Uys.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Hudson Tonga'uiha, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Matt Corker,4 Jonathan Mills (c), 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Frank Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Kirill Kulemin, Ed Williamson, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Seb Jewell.

Date: Friday, September 21
Venue: Salford City Stadium, Salford
Kick-off: 20.00 BST (19.00 GMT)
Referee: tbc
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Alan Hughes
Timekeeper: Mike Hamlin
Assesor: Tony Spreadbury

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