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Preview: Sale v Leicester

04th October 2012 10:36

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Ben Youngs

Tigers comeback: Ben Youngs

Scrum-half Ben Youngs will make his first appearance of the season for Leicester Tigers in Friday's Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks.

England international Youngs returns after his recovery from a shoulder injury suffered in the second Test in South Africa in June.

Fellow international Manu Tuilagi also returns to the starting XV after missing the last two games.

Former London Irish flanker Richard Thorpe is in line for his debut alongside Thomas Waldrom and captain Jordan Crane in the back-row, and George Ford comes in to partner Youngs.

"The attitude and the application of the squad was first class last week against Exeter, especially with the late problems with injuries and illness which could have disrupted us," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"We've made a reasonable start to the season but it's important to keep that going and focus on our own game. We've got a good squad and all of the players will have their opportunities."

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks director of rugby Bryan Redpath has made three changes from the team that lost to Bath. Richie Gray and Richie Vernon come into the pack, whilst Will Addison replaces Tom Brady.

"Our last home performance was unacceptable. In some ways, we improved last weekend but still lost the game," said Redpath.

"We're against a formidable side in Leicester Tigers, so we've got to restore some pride and play with plenty of passion. Our challenge on Friday is to be at our best."

Form: Sale Sharks still anxiously await their first victory of the new Aviva Premiership season and have now lost their last six Premiership encounters. The Sharks have been defeated in their opening two games at their new home - Salford City Stadium. Leicester Tigers got back to winning ways with Saturday's 30-8 defeat of Exeter Chiefs at Welford Road. The Tigers have lost just once away from home in the Premiership in the last twelve months: 11-19 at Exeter on 11 February. Leicester have taken the last five encounters with the Sharks.

The teams:

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

Leicester: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Jordan Crane (c), 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Rob Andrew, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Friday, October 5
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege, Alan Hughes
Television match official: Trevor Fisher
Timekeeper: Tony Turner

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PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00