TEAM NEWS – Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks

Ben Curry makes his highly anticipated return to Gallagher Premiership action this weekend as Alex Sanderson names his Sale Sharks side to face Bath Rugby. (Friday 14th May – Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport)

The 22-year-old returns to feature as a replacement after spending five months on the side lines recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in November 2020. The imposing flanker is one of three changes to the Sharks’ side that downed Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell last weekend.

Sanderson names Bevan Rodd alongside experienced Springbok duo Akker van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen in an unchanged front-row as Sale target their first win at the Rec since 2014.

Towering second-row Jean-Pierre du Preez replaces Josh Beaumont this weekend and joins James Phillips to form a heavyweight lock partnership as the Sharks head to the West Country. Du Preez and Phillips are the only changes in the Sharks pack following an impressive display from the Sale forwards against a physical Leicester side.

Jean-Luc du Preez will make his 50th Sale Sharks appearance on Saturday as the back-rower lines up at number 8 in the absence of twin brother Daniel. The South African joins forces with fellow countryman Cobus Wiese and British and Irish lion Tom Curry in an abrasive back-row.

Simon Hammersley is the sole change in an exciting Sharks back division that includes the effervescent Faf de Klerk and in-from AJ MacGinty sharing distribution roles at half back.

The pair will marshal Sam Hill and Sam James outside them in the midfield, with Marland Yarde, Byron McGuigan and full back Hammersley providing further options in the back three.

Ben Curry stars on a Sharks replacements bench that includes eight home grown players courtesy of the Sharks Academy. Curtis Langdon, Ross Harrison and James Harper cover the front row, with Cameron Neild joining Curry as further forward cover.

Raffi Quirke, Kieran Wilkinson and Connor Doherty act as back line replacements on Friday night.

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