Preview: Sale Sharks v Wasps

Date published: October 3 2014

Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has made three changes to his starting Xv for Sunday’s clash with Wasps at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has made three changes to his starting Xv for Sunday’s clash with Wasps at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Marc Jones makes a welcome return at hooker, taking over from Shalva Mamukashvili and is joined in a new-look front row by Vadim Cobilas and Ross Harrison who replace Eifion Lewis Roberts and Alberto de Marchi respectively.

Veteran wing Mark Cueto is fit again and is named amongst the replacements.

Meanwhile, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has made seven changes to his starting XV.

Christian Wade, Chris Bell, Will Helu, Charlie Davies, John Yapp, Guy Thompson and Nathan Hughes all given starting berths after last weekend’s win over Newcastle.

Ahead of the game, Young said: “We know it wasn’t a perfect performance last weekend against Newcastle but we were pleased with the result and, after narrowly missing out in two of the opening three games, it was good for the team’s confidence to win in that manner.

“We now need to kick on from there.”

“We know what we are in for this weekend. We haven’t won away at Sale for a number of years and it is always a tough place to go and play.

“They are always a very physical side from one to fifteen and we will have to match that this Sunday if we want a result.”

Wasps squad includes four ex Sale Sharks players in Chris Bell, Kearnan Myall, James Gaskell and Rob Miller.

Form: Sale Sharks’ only victory in their last six Premiership matches was 46-8 at home to London Welsh in Round 3 this season. The Sharks are attempting to win back-to-back games at the AJ Bell Stadium for the first time since February. All four of Wasps Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures this season have been won by the home side on the day, whilst Wasps have been victorious just once on the road in the competition in 2014: 13-11 at relegated Worcester in March. Sale have won five of their last six Premiership Rugby encounters with Wasps, with the southerner’s only victory in that sequence coming at Adams Park in December 2012. Wasps solo victory on Sale soil in their last ten visits was 25-24 at Edgeley Park in October 2010.

The teams:

Sale: Luke McLean, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Tom Arscott, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Mark Easter 7 David Seymour, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Cueto.

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Will Helu, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Andrea Masi, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.

Date: Sunday, October 5
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kickoff: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Paul Burton
TMO: Keith Lewis