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Preview: Newcastle v Sale Sharks

06th January 2011 11:21

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SKY_MOBILE Mathew Tait - Sale egg chaser

Off the bench: Mathew Tait

Sale Sharks boss Pete Anglesea has made two changes to his starting line-up for Friday's Aviva Premiership visit to fellow strugglers Newcastle.

Mark Cueto and Rhys Crane are both out so Paul Williams and Mathew Tait come in on the wings with Nick Macleod named at full-back.

"Sunday's win over Saracens was a good performance and we are now looking to build on that," said an encouraged Anglesea.

"I have been able to name the same pack for the game with the same replacements in the forwards too. It's a fast turn around but we have trained well, the team spirit is excellent and players are walking around with smiles on their faces."

Meanwhile, big name signing Euan Murray will make his debut for Newcastle in one of three changes to the side that was defeated at Wasps.

Charlie Amesbury returns to the wing after a horrific eye injury sustained during Newcastle's 12-6 victory over Gloucester back in November, as Alan Tait rotates the back-line. Gcobani Bobo moves to the centres, with Luke Eves dropping to the bench.

Up front, Brent Wilson comes in to the pack replacing West Countryman, Redford Pennycook who provides quality in reserve.

"We've been boosted by Jonny Golding this week," said Tait.

"He will take a place on the bench, and Andrew Van der Heijden has also been doing contact work with the boys this week. The Sale game has just come a bit quick for him, but what a difference it makes to see quality like that on the training field.

"Euan Murray's debut is another thing to look forward to, and this is a game that I've been waiting for all season."

Newcastle face a Sharks outfit revitalised by their win at home to Saracens last weekend, and Tait is expecting a tough challenge.

"That's what happens, and this Aviva Premiership is full of those surprises. You can see that they've changed coaches, and the senior players seem to be having a fair bit to say in leading the ship," he said.

"Pete Anglesea is a young coach, and the older players there, look to be leading the way. The likes of Charlie Hodgson and Mark Cueto seem to be going out there and just enjoying their rugby - and they're throwing it about well and they caught Saracens by surprise."

Form: Sale won 35-18 when the two teams met in round one and are going for a first ever league double over the Falcons in the same season. The Sharks' only previous win at Kingston Park came in 2008. Newcastle's only win in their last eight Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters was 12-6 at home to Gloucester on 21 November. The Falcons have won their last three home games in all competitions, although because of the inclement weather the most recent of those was played "over the border" in Galashiels. Sale ended a five game losing run in all competitions with their 28-22 victory at home to Saracens on Sunday. The Sharks have recorded just one win away from home in the Premiership since November 2009: 6-3 at Leeds on 22 October.

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Jeremy Manning, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements: 16 Joe Graham, 17 Jonny Golding, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Filipo Levi, 20 Redford Pennycook, 21 Jason Spice, 22 Luke Eves, 23 Danny Williams.

Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Paul Williams, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Kyle Tonetti, 11 Mathew Tait, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 James Gaskell (capt), 5 Kristian Ormsby, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Roberts, 17 Lee Imiolek, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Sean Cox, 20 Neil McMillan, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Iain Thornley.

Date: Friday, January 7
Kick-off: 19:45
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

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