Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale v Scarlets

03rd February 2012 09:12

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SKY_MOBILE 124387115 Dwayne Peel Sale

To face old side: Dwayne Peel

Sale have named their side to play Scarlets in the LV= Cup at Edgeley Park on Saturday, at the revised kick off time of 15:00 due to the weather.

Club captain Sam Tuitupou returns, whilst flanker Hendre Fourie is set for his home debut. Former Scarlet Dwayne Peel could be in opposition to fly-half Aled Thomas, partner of his sister Yana.

The line-up is subject to change, depending on the degree of involvement of the Sharks' players named in England Saxons and U20 squads.

"On the back of the disappointing second half at Newcastle last Sunday, our focus this week has been to return to the standards we've set ourselves. We never like losing, and it's important that we respond in a positive manner. We have a lot of respect for the Scarlets, who are a fantastic team," said Sharks Head Coach Tony Hanks.

The pitch has been protected under heated covers since Tuesday.

"Barring an avalanche, we're guaranteed to play," said a club spokesman.

Meanwhile, the Scarlets travel to Sale Sharks this weekend for the final pool round of their LV=Cup competition with three wins from three so far.

Sitting at the top of Pool 3 with 14 points, they will be looking to make it a clean run in the competition and with victory on Saturday the chance of a home semi-final at Parc y Scarlets as one of the top two best performing teams in the Anglo Welsh competition.

The Scarlets have seen off the competition of Leicester Tigers (31-3), Cardiff Blues (30-3) and London Irish (27-19) so far and come into the fourth round on the back of three wins in a row in all competitions.

In second and third positions in Pool 3 are Gloucester and Newcastle both on 10 points, with Gloucester coming up against London Irish at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

The West Wales rugby region welcome back a number of their international stars released back from Wales to create an impressive bench with plenty of fire-power to give the Scarlets a host of options.

Stephen Jones, Liam Williams, Aaron Shingler, Lou Reed and Rhodri Jones all return to their home region for the fixture and join the Scarlets bench for the crucial LV=Cup fixture.

The Scarlets make only one change in their backs division from the starting XV of last weekend that beat London Irish 27-19 in a very physical and intense victory at Parc y Scarlets in front of an 8,000+ home crowd.

Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half with the centre partnership of Scarlets skipper Gareth Maule and Adam Warren united once again and ready to fire, with Aled Thomas in the pivotal role of outside half and pace on both wings from Andy Fenby and last weekend's try scorer and man of the match, Vili Iongi.

In the forwards, Sione Timani and Damian Welch return to the second row and the Scarlets field an unchanged back row of Mat Gilbert, Johnathan Edwards and Kieran Murphy.

"This is a very important game for us - we've gained momentum in recent weeks and last weekend was a big result for the players who put in a committed performance against a full strength London Irish side," said Head of Scarlets Rugby, Nigel Davies.

"There is a real energy in the camp this week and we brought plenty of endeavour and spirit to our game last weekend and we know we'll need all of that and more against Sale. We're mindful of how much they want this result, particularly after losing last time out - they'll want to bounce back at home.

"We won't be thinking of others results or the different scenarios at the weekend - we need to get a result it's as simple as that and we'll just focus on putting in a big performance.

"The chance of a home semi-final is huge for us as a region and for our supporters. A lot of the boys in our squad will not have experienced play-offs, so it's a big opportunity for them as a group to show what they are about and they are really pulling together and working hard for each other.

"What is really pleasing is the strength-in-depth we have developing in our set-up - virtually everybody that comes onto the field performs for our shirt and there's a huge desire and commitment from everyone to make the most of their opportunities."

The teams:

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou (capt), 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Onosa'i Auva'a, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Vadim Cobilas.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Lee Imiolek, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Tommy Taylor, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Viliami Iongi, 13 Gareth Maule (capt), 12 Adam Warren, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Mat Gilbert, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Craig Hawkins, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Liam Williams.

Date: Saturday, February 4
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Edgeley Park

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