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Preview: Sale v Worcester

27th December 2012 11:52

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Worcester v Sale action 2012

Distributor: Paul Hodgson

Danny Cipriani returns to the Sale Sharks starting line-up against Worcester Warriors after being dropped last weekend.

Cipriani was heavily criticised by director of rugby John Mitchell and owner Brian Kennedy for his poor defence and was consequently dropped following the 62-0 defeat to Toulon, but returns after Nick Macleod picked up an injury.

Tom Brady returns on the wing for his first start since the win over London Irish in November. Alasdair Dickinson has recovered from his shoulder problems and is on the bench as are Dwayne Peel and Cameron Shepherd.

Meanwhile, centre Alex Grove is all set to hit a century of appearances for Worcester Warriors as they head north to face Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night.

Scotland international Grove, who made his club debut in December 2006 against Newport Gwent Dragons and has scored 21 tries in his Sixways career, will become a Worcester centurion as he is named in an unchanged starting line-up by Head Coach Richard Hill.

Hill makes just one change to his bench with prop Rob O'Donnell named among the replacements.

Lock James Percival will skipper the Warriors alongside Chris Jones in the second row, with Jones returning to his former club. Dean Schofield could also make an appearance against his old club after being named on the bench.

Form: Sale Sharks have slipped to three straight Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats since beating London Irish 21-9 at the Salford City Stadium on 2 November. Sale's most recent win in Salford came in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Saracens on 16 November. Worcester Warriors' only away win in any competition since New Year's Day was in Spain against Gernika on 13 October. The Warriors' last eight games in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day. The last five meetings between the two sides have all been won by the home side, whilst Worcester's last win on Sale soil came in 2008 at Edgeley Park.

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 James Doyle, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Cameron Shepherd.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke.

Date: Friday, December 28
Kick-off: 20:00
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe, Alan Hughes

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