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Preview: Sale v Newcastle

12th September 2013 11:56

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MARK CUETO SALE SHARKS

Centre: Mark Cueto

Sale Sharks will be looking to make it two wins from two in the Premiership when they take on Newcastle at AJ BELL Stadium on Friday.

Steve Diamond makes one change to his side this week as Jonny Leota misses out after picking up a knock at Gloucester. Mark Cueto moves to centre and Tom Brady starts on the left wing.

Meanwhile, Will Welch returns as captain for the Falcons after missing last week's opener at home to Bath. He is one of five changes as the Falcons look to secure their first win of the campaign.

Jamie Helleur is ruled out with concussion sustained against Bath last week with Adam Powell replacing the Samoan at inside centre. Meanwhile Oliver Tomaszczyk comes into the front-row alongside hooker Matt Thompson who returns from illness. Second-row Fraser McKenzie rounds off the changes to make his club debut.

"Sale are a very unified side and they work for each other so they will challenge us in every aspect of the game," said Falcons boss Dean Richards.

"It was a surprise result for them to win down at Gloucester, but I think it heightens our awareness of what they are about. They are a very physical side who are comfortable in all sorts of conditions, and they have a top draw team in terms of their willingness to play rugby.

"Some of their scores at the weekend were outstanding and it's going to be a difficult game for us. We've worked on the things that didn't quite go according to plan last week, and we've worked even more on the positives that came out of the game.

"For us it's about working hard for one another and making sure we make the right decisions, and I firmly believe that we have the players to do that."

Form: Sale Sharks travelled to Gloucester in Round 1 of Aviva Premiership Rugby and beat their hosts 22-16, the Sharks have not won their opening two games in a season since 2008/09. Sale's solo defeat in their last six Premiership encounters was 7-47 at Northampton on 20th April. Newcastle Falcons were defeated 0-21 in their season opener against Bath at Kingston Park last Friday - the first time they have been nilled at home in a league encounter since 1989. The Falcons have lost only one of their last 19 away games in all competitions: 19-24 to Leeds at Headingley in last season's RFU Championship semi-final 1st leg. This game is Newcastle's fist visit to the Salford City Stadium; they have not won on Sale soil since April 2010.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Andy Forsyth, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Johnathan Mills, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Josh Beaumont, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Rob Miller.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Dom Barrow, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Carlo del Fava, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick.

Date: Friday, September 13
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Venue: AJ BELL Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Stuart Terheege
Timekeeper: Anthony Turner
Television match official: Sean Davey
Assessor: Ed Morrison

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