Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Sale Sharks

25th October 2013 12:20

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Karl Dickson Sammy Tuitupou Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Starting: Karl Dickson

Harlequins have made six changes to the team that lost to Clermont last week for Saturday's Premiership clash with Sale at the Stoop.

With Mike Brown, Joe Marler and Chris Robshaw being retained by the England squad, Tom Williams is named at full-back. Sam Smith starts on the left wing with Ugo Monye, who has recovered from a knock sustained against London Irish, starting on the right wing.

Karl Dickson comes in at scrum-half, with Danny Care, who was released back to the club by England, ready to make an impact from the bench. The fly-half and centre partnership remain unchanged.

Mark Lambert and Dave Ward make their first starts of the season, joining Will Collier in the front row.

In an unchanged second-row, Nick Easter is named as captain. Luke Wallace switches to openside flanker as Joe Trayfoot and Tom Guest complete the pack.

Rob Buchanan is unavailable for selection due to a ruptured pectoral muscle sustained against Clermont Auvergne; the hooker will have surgery and is expected to return at the end of January. The club will also provide an injury update on centre George Lowe next week following advice from a specialist.

Meanwhile, Sale have made five changes to the side that beat earlier this month. Jonny Leota moves from 12 to 13 as Sammy Tuitupou starts at inside centre.

In the pack, Andrei Ostrikov replaces Michael Paterson in the second row while Henry Thomas is at tighthead prop in place of Vadim Cobilas.

Form: Harlequins have slipped to four straight defeats in all competitions since their victory at Worcester in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 20th September. The Londoners have lost successive matches in the Premiership at the Twickenham Stoop but have not been defeated in three consecutive games in the tournament at the venue in the same season since they were relegated in season 2004/05. Sale Sharks have won their last three encounters in all competitions against Bath, Biarritz and Worcester, and have won two of their last three away matches. The last time the clubs faced each other was in the final of last season's Anglo-Welsh Cup which Harlequins won 32-14 at Worcester to record a 7th straight defeat of the northerners. Sale's most recent victory at The Stoop was 29-19 in the European Challenge Cup in December 2009.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Ben Botica, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter (c), 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Danny Care, 22 Paul Sackey, 23 Charlie Walker.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Tom Holmes, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth.

Date: Saturday, October 26th
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Stuart Terheege
TMO: Graham Hughes

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