Sharks were losing finalists in the competition last season and are looking to go one better this time round. Its Bath Rugby's second visit to the AJ Bell Stadium this season. In the Aviva Premiership game in October, Sharks won a thrilling game 19-13.
Mike Haley, Mark Jennings and Tony Buckley start for the first time this season and Nick Macleod is now fully fit again and is named amongst the replacements.
Team Mike Haley, Tom Arscott, Andy Forsyth, Mark Jennings, Tom Brady, Joe Ford, Will Cliff, Ross Harrison, Marc Jones, Tony Buckley, Andrei Ostrikov, Tom Holmes, Jonathan Mills, Dan Braid, Michael Paterson
Replacements Tommy Taylor, Eifion Lewis Roberts, Henry Thomas, Kirill Kulemin, Mark Easter, Dwayne Peel, Nick Macleod, Rob Miller
Tickets are available for this evenings game. Please call 08444-994-994.
Sale have been handed a huge psychological boost ahead of tonight's opening LV= Cup tie with Bath at the AJ Bell Stadium with the news that defensive guru Mike Forshaw has penned a new two-year deal with the club.
The former Bradford Bulls rugby league star only arrived at the club in the summer having been recruited from Irish club Connacht on a short-term deal to try to add some structure and backbone to a porous defence that had leaked more points than any other Premiership side in three of the last four seasons.
Only five months into the job, Forshaw's superb work on the training paddock has already paid dividends with Sale now boasting the fifth meanest defence in the league.
What's more, Forshaw - who has also proved a major hit with the first-team squad - has also dovetailed neatly into director of rugby Steve Diamond's coaching set-up, alongside head coach Bryan Redpath and academy transition boss Pete Anglesea.
Now Diamond has moved to secure Forshaw's services on a longer term basis with the 43-year-old Wigan-born expert, who has also spent time coaching with Super League sides Warrington and Wigan, agreeing a new contract with the Sharks.
"Mike's done a great job with the defence since he's come in and we're delighted that he's agreed a new two-year deal with us," said Diamond.
"Mike's got great experience in rugby league as well as working in union with Connacht and, from day one, he's come in here and got the basics right.
"And since he's joined us I think it's no coincidence that we're becoming a good defensive side.
"The coaching team with Mike fitting in alongside Brush (Bryan Redpath), Pete and myself, works really well and his experience comes from his time both playing and coaching and everyone has bought into it. I think we're knocking around the top five in terms of the defensive stats which is where we need to be at and I don't think in the past five or six years we have been anywhere near there.
"So that side of our game is going really well. Now we just need to get a bit of discipline and individual skill and push on starting with Friday against Bath."
For his part, Forshaw said he was delighted to have committed his long-term future to the club.
"It's great. I came in to see how it would go until the end of the season and obviously it looks like I might be here for quite a while now," said Forshaw.
"I'm really happy about that and hopefully we can really drive the club forward now.
"Right from when I walked in I knew there were some talented players here. As far as the defence goes there was an instinct that was a big area of the game for the players to work on after a troublesome start last season.
"It was a big focus for us and defensively we are driving it in terms of how we want to defend as a team and individually. But we won't take our foot off the accelerator - as soon as you do that you get smacked.
"So we want to keep driving the standards up and hopefully also show people that we can attack a fair bit too."
Our A League semi-final v Bath is scheduled for November 25th 7.30pm at the Recreation Ground Bath.