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Preview: Northampton v Sale

26th September 2013 12:52

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Danny Cipriani of Sale thumps up

Starts: Danny Cipriani

Sale boss Steve Diamond has named Danny Cipriani at fly-half for the Aviva Premiership clash with Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens on Friday.

Cipriani comes in for the injured Nick Macleod while the Sharks have also lost Dwayne Peel with a hamstring injury along with James Gaskell who fractured a metatarsal in last week's warm-up.

Josh Beaumont badly injured his knee early in the game and is a long term injury whereas Macleod and Gaskell should be back by November.

Centres Johnny Leota and Sammy Tuitupou are both recovering from broken jaws but better news on Tony Buckley in that he is nearing full fitness.

Meanwhile, Stephen Myler will hit the double-century appearance mark when he runs out with the rest of the Northampton team on Friday.

The 29-year-old fly-half has spent his entire rugby union career at Franklin's Gardens, and since his debut in 2006 he has racked up 1,536 points - putting him second on the club's all-time points scoring list - and steered the team to six finals in six years, winning three of them.

This June Myler also became a full international in England's successful tour of Argentina.

Myler is only the eleventh player to reach the landmark since the year 2000, and director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that the achievement reflects his consistency and quality.

"Stephen has been an outstanding player in my time at the club and I'm delighted for him in reaching a landmark like this," Mallinder commented.

"In the professional era, when players move from club to club and have massive physical demands every week, hitting 200 appearances becomes even more special.

"I'm particularly happy for Stephen that he gets to reach this landmark on home turf. He has been one of our key players over the past few years and has served the Saints and our supporters well.

"I'm sure they'll join all of us in congratulating him tomorrow night."

Mallinder and the Saints coaches have made four changes to the team which was pipped at the post in Gloucester last Saturday, with George Pisi, Alex Corbisiero, Courtney Lawes and Phil Dowson all returning to the starting line-up.

Form: Northampton Saints 100 per cent winning record this season perished at Gloucester on Saturday in a narrow 24-26 defeat. The Saints have won their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches played on a Friday night. Sale Sharks only defeat in their last four matches was 14-15 at home to Newcastle in round 2. The Sharks are bidding to win back to back away games in the Premiership for the first time since the start of the 2008/09 season. Sale have won just one of their last nine encounters with the Saints in all competitions: 29-21 at Edgeley Park in September 2011, whilst Sale have not been victorious at Franklin's Gardens since May 2006.

The teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi.

Sale Sharks: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Rob Miller, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Andy Forsyth, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Kirill Kulemin, 3 Vadim Colbilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Johnathan Mills, 20 Andrei Ostrikov, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Phil McKenzie.

Date: Friday, September 27
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: David Rose
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege, Nigel Carrick
Television match official: Rowan Kitt
Timekeeper: Clive Leeke

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