TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors

Sale Sharks have named their side to face Worcester Warriors in round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday. Alex Sanderson makes six changes to his team as the Sharks Director of Rugby includes World Cup finalists Faf de Klerk and Manu Tuilagi as well as the fit again Cobus Wiese in his starting line-up following their impressive cameos against Harlequins last weekend.

Curtis Langdon replaces Ewan Ashman at hooker to line up alongside Ross Harrison and Coenie Oosthuizen in the only front-row change. The trio have the power and experience of Lood de Jager and the returning Wiese in the second row, with the 24 year old’s inclusion in place of Daniel du Preez the only other personnel change to the Sharks’ pack.

Jono Ross captains the side from blindside flanker, with Sam Dugdale retaining his spot at openside. Jean-Luc du Preez lines up at number 8 for the first time this season in place of twin brother Daniel, who misses the game after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child this week.

Faf de Klerk makes his first start for Sale this season and the livewire fan favourite is selected alongside AJ MacGinty as the Sharks look to implement their attacking prowess in front of a home crowd.

Manu Tuilagi replaces Rohan Janse van Rensburg to start at inside centre and lines up next to the in-form Robert du Preez who wears the thirteen shirt.

Ever-impressive academy flyers Arron Reed and Tom Roebuck retain their places on either wing, with Roebuck establishing himself as one of the Premiership’s most prolific finishers, scoring six tries in the last four matches. Sam James replaces his injured younger brother Luke at full-back.

On the bench, Tommy Taylor, Simon McIntyre and Joe Jones act as front-row replacements whislt Jean-Pierre du Preez and Cameron Neild provide further cover for the forwards.

Raffi Quirke, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Byron McGuigan cover the backs.

Sale have won their last three consecutive Gallagher Premiership fixtures and in an emphatic victory against reigning champions Harlequins last weekend, the Sharks were bolstered by the return of Manu Tuilagi and Faf de Klerk.

Talking to the media this week, Alex Sanderson referred to himself and Steve Diamond as “non-playing characters” in his side’s fixture against the former Sharks’ Director of Rugby’s new side Worcester Warriors.

Alex said: “We’re [Diamond & Sanderson] on the periphery of this game which involves 46 players, and that’s how it should be really. It starts and ends on the pitch. I’m sure there will be no kind words pre-kick off, but I hope to have a beer with Dimes after the game.

“We are finding a bit of form at present and the moment you find form and think it’s just about maintaining it is the moment it starts to slide. We’ve talked about improving constantly. Continuously improving, that’s been the focus for us this week.”

Worcester defeated Sharks at Sixways 27-14 in round seven earlier this season but – excluding 2019-20 when they were awarded away victory – have never achieved a season double over Shark and are 19 games without away victory in the Premiership.

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