TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Wasps

Sale Sharks ring the changes and welcome a host of young talent to the matchday squad as Neil Briggs takes charge for this weekend’s clash with Wasps in the Premiership Rugby Cup at the AJ Bell Stadium (KO – 1pm, Saturday, March 19).

The club’s Academy Transition Coach leads a team showing 14 changes from Sharks last Premiership clash, with only centre Connor Doherty keeping his place at 13.

Elsewhere, new signing Dom Barrow makes his first start in the second row while there are starts for academy stars Ewan Murphy, Rouban Birch, Elliott Gourlay, Jack Metcalf and Joe Carpenter.

Briggs names an experienced front-row to face Lee Blackett’s men, with club stalwart Ross Harrison joining skipper for the day Tommy Taylor and Joe Jones.

Barrow joins Matt Postlethwaite in the second-row, while Curtis Langdon switches to the number seven shirt to join debutant Ewan Murphy (six) and Rouban Birch (number eight) in a powerful back-row.

Gus Warr will start at scrum-half and he’s joined by a familiar face in Kieran Wilkinson at fly-half.

Doherty has the experience of Sam Hill alongside him in the midfield and they’ll look to supply a back line packed with academy talent.

Elliott Gourlay makes his first start for the club on the wing while Jack Metcalf and Joe Carpenter start for the second time on the opposite flank and full-back respectively.

The Sharks bench is loaded with yet more young talent as new man Alex Groves joins trialist Ben Bamber and academy stars Ben Carlile, Ethan Caine and Cal Ford in covering the forwards.

The experienced Will Cliff, Tom Curtis and Joe Bedlow provide cover for the Sharks backs.

Sale Sharks Starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Jack Metcalf, 13. Connor Doherty, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Elliott Gourlay, 10, Kieran Wilkinson, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Joe Jones, 4. Matt Postlethwaite, 5. Dom Barrow, 6. Ewan Murphy, 7. Curtis Langdon, 8. Rouban Birch.

Replacements:

16. Ethan Caine, 17. Tumy Onasanya, 18. Cal Ford, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Ben Bamber, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Joe Bedlow

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