Preview: Sale v Leicester

Date published: December 26 2014

Freddie Burns and Tommy Bell return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership game against Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium.

England international Burns is at fly-half, with Bell starting at full-back against his former club. In another change to the backline, Mathew Tait lines up against his former team on the wing in place of Blaine Scully.

The forward pack features returns for Jamie Gibson, Michele Rizzo and Leonardo Ghiraldini.

There is a place among the replacements for Fiji international Seremaia Bai on his return from a calf injury which has ruled him out since the win over Newcastle Falcons on the opening day of the season.

Meanwhile, Sale have named Dan Braid at number eight alongside flankers Magnus Lund and Dave Seymour for their home game.

Chris Cusiter and Danny Cipriani will form the half-back combination inside familiar centre duo Sam Tuitupou and Jonny Leota.

Form: Sale Sharks have won their last four Aviva Premiership matches since their 10-43 defeat at table topping Northampton in round 6. The Sharks have not won five in succession in the tournament since season 2006/07. Sale have won their last four Premiership Rugby encounters at AJ Bell Stadium. Leicester Tigers have lost their last two fixtures, at Toulon and at Northampton, with the reversal at Franklin’s Gardens ending a four game unbeaten run in Aviva Premiership Rugby. The Tigers have won their last ten encounters with Sharks in all competitions since Sale’s 15-12 victory in Premiership Rugby at Edgeley Park in September 2009.

The teams:

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Will Addison, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Dan Braid (c), 7 David Seymour, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings.

Leicester: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Mathew Tait, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Seremaia Bai.

Date: Saturday, December 27
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (91st Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell and Peter Huckle
TMO: David Grashoff