TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints

Internationals Akker van der Merwe, Jean-Luc du Preez and AJ MacGinty all return to action for Sale this weekend – and there’s a return for an old favourite on the replacements bench – as Alex Sanderson names an experienced side to face Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday. (Kick-off 5:00pm) 

The Sharks Director of Rugby makes six changes to his starting XV following defeat to Worcester Warriors in round six with a cohort of international stars hoping to make an impact on home soil.

Impressive England prospect Bevan Rodd keeps his place at loosehead prop again this week with Sanderson naming the 21-year-old alongside Springboks Akker van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen in the Sale front row.

The towering JP du Preez is named at lock alongside compatriot Jean-Luc du Preez, who comes back into the team after a rest week to take Lood de Jager’s place in the second row, following De Jager’s call-up to South Africa’s Autumn Nations squad.

Jono Ross returns to captain the side after appearing as a replacement last weekend. The Sharks skipper is joined by Ben Curry and Daniel du Preez in the Sale back row.

Gus Warr continues to impress at scrum-half in the absence of Faf de Klerk and Raffi Quirke. The youngster, who scored his second Sale Sharks try at Sixways in round seven, has the experience and game management skills of USA Eagles captain AJ MacGinty at fly-half.

The pair will look to utilise an unchanged centre partnership of Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Sam James outside them in midfield, with Sanderson’s other two changes made in the back three.

Marland Yarde keeps his place but is joined by Byron McGuigan and Simon Hammersley this weekend, who replace Denny Solomona and Luke James respectively.

Curtis Langdon, Simon McIntyre and the returning Joe Jones act as front row replacements on Saturday. Jones has re-joined the club on loan from Coventry following a series of injuries in the front row. Fit again Matt Postlethwaite and Cameron Nield offer further cover in the forwards while Nye Thomas, Robert du Preez and Luke James cover the backs.

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