Aviva Premiership preview: London Irish v Sale Sharks

Last updated: 31st March 2013  

Andy Powell Sale Bath v Sale Aviva Premiership 2012

Andy Powell: Back in the Sale pack for the trip to the capital

Sailosi Tagicakibau London Irish

Sailosi Tagicakibau: His return is the only change for the home team on Sunday

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Sale will be looking to record just their second away win in the Aviva Premiership this season when they take on London Irish at the Madejski Stadium

Both sides have had their struggles in this campaign, though each recorded a victory last time out to ease themselves away from the bottom of the table.

Irish opened up a 10-point cushion over capital rivals London Welsh, who this week have failed to get a five-point deduction overturned, with a win over Worcester.

Director of rugby Brian Smith has stuck with the majority of the side that saw off the Warriors; the only change for the hosts sees winger Sailosi Tagicakibau return to the starting line-up.

Jebb Sinclair and Darren Allinson both come into the squad as replacements, with Topsy Ojo joining them on the bench having played the most matches in the squad this season.

Sale, meanwhile, have also kept faith in almost the entirety of the team that pipped Bath thanks to a late try from replacement Tom Brady.

The one alteration sees Andy Powell start at the back of the scrum with James Gaskell switching to the second row. Lock Kearnan Myall drops down to the bench.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jon Fisher, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Darren Allinson.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Kearnan Myall, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.

Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Tom Brady.

What they said...

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith

"I was very pleased with the efforts of our entire squad last weekend.

"The forward pack fronted up and set a platform for the team to keep the scoreboard moving. On Sunday it is important we keep that same level of performance. Sale are currently playing well so we know it will be another challenge, but one we are ready for."

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