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Aviva Premiership match preview: Sale Sharks v Bath

Last updated: 22nd March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Tom Guest Charlie Amesbury Danny Cipriani Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks: hoping to return to winning ways after losing last Sunday's LV= Cup final defeat to Harlequins

Bath Stuart Hooper

Stuart Hooper (right): back for Bath for Friday's clash with Sale Sharks

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Sale Sharks will be eager to return to winning ways in Friday evening's Aviva Premiership game against Bath.

The relegation-threatened club have lost their last two league games to Harlequins and Leicester.

In contrast Bath have lost only one of their last four Premiership games (Northampton away by a 25-23 scoreline), though have not won on the road since the opening round of the campaign, when they defeated Worcester.

The Sharks have made a number of alterations to the line-up that started the 32-14 defeat to Harlequins in the LV= Cup final last time out, including dropping Danny Cipriani to the bench.

Nick Macleod takes over in the number 10 jersey, meaning a recall for Cameron Shepherd at full-back, with Dwayne Peel coming in at scrum-half.

Sammy Tiutupou and Mark Cueto are named in the starting XV while James Gaskell switches to lock having begun the game against Quins in the back row.

The visitors have made four changes to the side that faced Harlequins two weeks ago, with all their alterations coming in the pack.

Test props Paul James and David Wilson return to the front row following the culmination of the Six Nations, where they are joined by another international in hooker Rob Webber who comes back into the starting line-up.

Club captain Stuart Hooper also returns, with Dominic Day moving to the bench. Hooper partners Dave Attwood, who it was announced this week had extended his contract with the club, in the second row.

The abrasive pairing of Francois Louw and Carl Fearns continue on the flanks, with Ben Skirving again taking his place at the base of the scrum.

Peter Stringer, whose loan deal with Bath will now run until the end of the season, and Tom Heathcote continue to build their half-back partnership, with the backline unchanged.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Kearnan Myall, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Richie Vernon.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Michael Classens, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 14th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

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