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Bath

  • Batty,
    Penalty goals: Ford (2),
11 - 12

Sale Sharks


  • Penalty goals: Cipriani (4),

Aviva Premiership: Bath v Sale Sharks preview

Last updated: 28th March 2014  

Andrei Ostrikov for Sale Sharks

Andrei Ostrikov: replaces Jonathan Mills in only change to Sale starting XV

Nick Abendanon Bath

Nick Abendanon: 200th appearance for Bath

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Bath will be looking to halt Sale's late push for a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs at the Recreation Ground on Friday night.

Victory over the Sharks would cement third place for Mike Ford's team and strengthen the claim of old rivals Leicester to a spot in the play-offs.

With Sale and Harlequins the only teams capable of displacing Friday's combatants, Bath have the opportunity to all but remove them from contention.

"This is a huge game for both teams," said Bath head coach Ford.

"A win for us would see make us a bit more secure in the top four, while for Sale it would narrow the gap and potentially see them break into the play-off spaces.

"Sale looked very good against Northampton last weekend. They beat a team that have been in the top two all season and will be full of confidence from that win.

"They're probably one of the most underrated sides in the Premiership and when they hit a run of form they can be very dangerous."

Team news

Bath make just one change to the team that thumped London Irish 44-23 with Guy Mercer replacing the injured Francois Louw at openside. Full-back Nick Abendanon makes his 200th appearance for the club.

Sale swept aside Northampton 19-6 last Saturday, despite the presence of Saints' star-studded international contingent, to register a third successive Premiership win.

Director of rugby Steve Diamond, who has replaced lock Jonathan Mills with Andrei Ostrikov, wants to see that form continue against Bath.

"This time last year we were scrapping for our lives. Now we are comfortably mid table," Diamond said.

"We might be suffering from a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of weeks, but we have Bath to come, as well as Quins, Exeter and Leicester, who are all big sides.

"If we don't have the same energy and attitude in those games then we won't win them, if we do we may well win them."

Bath: 15 Abendanon, 14 Watson, 13 Devoto, 12 Eastmond, 11 Rokoduguni, 10 Ford, 9 Stringer; 1 James, 2 Batty, 3 Wilson, 4 Hooper, 5 Attwood, 6 Garvey, 7 Mercer, 8 Houston

Replacements: 16 Dunn, 17 Catt, 18 Perenise, 19 Day, 20 Fearns, 21 Young, 22 Henson, 23 Agulla

Sale: 15 Arscott, 14 Brady, 13 Leota, 12 Tuitupou, 11 Cueto, 10 Cipriani, 9 Peel; 1 Lewis-Roberts, 2 Jones, 3 Cobilas, 4 Ostrikov, 5 Paterson, 6 Braid, 7 Seymour, 8 Gaskell

Replacements: 16 Croall, 17 Harrison, 18 Thomas, 19 Mills, 20 Easter, 21 Cliff, 22 Macleod, 23 Miller

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 3rd October
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Friday 14th November
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

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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