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Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath

21st March 2013 12:18

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Nick Macleod Sale v Bath 2012

Fly-half: Nick Macleod

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has named his side for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership game against Bath.

The Sharks are keen to get back to winning ways in the Premiership having lost their last two Premiership games to Harlequins and Leicester.

Bath have lost only one of their last four Premiership games (Northampton away 23-25) but have not won on the road since Round One, when they defeated Worcester.

In the game at the Rec in September Sharks lost 10-31.

Meanwhile, Bath have made four changes to the side that faced Harlequins two weeks ago.

All four changes come in the pack. Test props Paul James and David Wilson return to the front row following the culmination of the Six Nations championship, where they are joined by another international in hooker Rob Webber who comes back into the starting line-up.

Club captain Stuart Hooper also returns to the starting line-up, with Dominic Day moving to the bench. Hooper partners Dave Attwood, who it was announced this week had extended his contract with the club, in the second row. The abrasive pairing of Francois Louw and Carl Fearns continue on the flanks, with Ben Skirving again taking his place at the base of the scrum.

Peter Stringer, whose loan deal with Bath will now run until the end of the season, and Tom Heathcote continue to build their half-back partnership, with the backline unchanged.

Kyle Eastmond and Matt Banahan link up in the centres once more, whilst Tom Biggs and Horacio Agulla provide speed, agility and power out wide. Nick Abendanon completes the line-up at full-back.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Kearnan Myall, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Richie Vernon.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Michael Classens, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.

Date: Friday 22 March
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Stuart Terheege

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