Sale Sharks have named their squad to face Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Cup Final on Monday evening. Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has named an experienced side ahead of the club’s opportunity at clinching its first silverware since winning the Premiership title in 2006.
The Sharks qualified from the group stages of the competition as top seeds following an impressive display of four straight wins Steve Diamond this week re-affirmed that winning the Premiership Rugby Cup was a stepping-stone to success that the club have been targeting since last summer. He Said: “This year, especially for us the Premiership Rugby Cup has real meaning. We set out our stall early, using the competition as our pre-season warm up matches and that worked really well for us. We managed to pick up five wins out of five in the early stages and guarantee ourselves a home final as top seeds. Winning the Premiership Rugby Cup would be a huge reward for the players, the owners and everyone involved at the club along with their families. We targeted this competition as a stepping stone to success when Ged and Simon first took over the club, and Monday night is a massive opportunity for us to show the progression we have made since their takeover.”
In a matchday squad that sees just four changes to their last Gallagher Premiership match, South Africa international Coenie Oosthuizen returns to the Sharks starting line-up at loosehead prop. The Springbok is joined in the front row by hooker Curtis Langdon and Jake Cooper-Woolley for the club’s first final appearance since 2013.
Newcomer Cobus Wiese gets set to make his full Sale debut on Monday night as the 23-year-old South African is named in Steve Diamond’s starting line-up for the first time since his arrival at the club in June. Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez joins his compatriot in the second row for Monday night’s match-up.
Captain Jono Ross and Ben Curry remain in the back row after dogged performances in last weekend’s loss to Bath Rugby, whilst Tom Curry is replaced at number 8 by Daniel du Preez.
The Will Cliff and Rob du Preez half-back partnership returns and the trusted pair have powerhouse Rohan Janse van Rensburg at inside centre and the deft hands of Sam James beyond him in the thirteen shirt. A back three of Denny Solomona, Marland Yarde and Simon Hammersley complete the starting XV for Monday night.
Diamond has named a number of highly experienced replacements on a bench that includes six internationals. Akker van der Merwe, Valerey Morozov and Will-Griff John cover the front row, with James Phillips and Tom Curry providing further reinforcement for the forwards. World Cup winner Faf de Klerk is also named on the bench and joins AJ MacGinty and Manu Tuilagi in an influential group of replacements for the backs.