Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale v Toulon

07th December 2012 09:47

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SKY_MOBILE Jonny Wilkinson Toulon

At fly-half: Jonny Wilkinson

RC Toulon have named arguably their strongest starting side for Saturday's clash with Sale at Salford City Stadium.

The line-up includes experienced international players Andrew Sheridan, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Frederic Michalak, Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Giteau.

The Top 14 side is already five points ahead of the rest of the teams in their group after two wins over Pool rivals Montpellier and Cardiff Blues.

England's 2003 World Cup winner, Wilkinson, will be looking to guide his Toulon side to a victory over Danny Cipriani and his fellow Sharks.

Toulon, who just missed out on the French title last season, will be overwhelming favourites to get a win against a Sharks side which has struggled all year in the Aviva Premiership.

Sale meanwhile have chosen to start Rob Miller at fly-half ahead of the benched Danny Cipriani. Miller is partnered at half-back by Will Cliff.

Also on the bench is Wales and Lions number eight Andy Powell as head coach John Mitchell selects a back-row trio of James Gaskell, David Seymour and Richie Vernon.

The teams:

Sale: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruise, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Pierrick Gunther, 20 Nick Kennedy, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Simon Shaw.

Date: Saturday, December 8
Kick-off: 15:40
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
Television match official: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)
Timekeeper: Tony Turner (England)

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All times are local
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Friday , April 18
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Saturday , April 19
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Sunday , April 20
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Friday , April 18
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Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
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Friday , April 18
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Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954