TEAM NEWS – Ulster Rugby v Sale Sharks

Sale Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson makes four changes to his starting line-up to face Ulster as Ewan Ashman, James Harper, Josh Beaumont and England prop Bevan Rodd return to the side for Saturday’s must-win Champions Cup clash (KO 8pm, live on BT Sport).

The homegrown quartet are among 17 Sharks Academy graduates in a matchday squad which also includes winger Tom Roebuck, who returns after an ankle injury to take his place on the replacements bench for the showdown at the Kingspan Stadium.

After three games with an unchanged front-row, Alex is forced into changes for the final pool stage match as Rodd and Harper take their places either side of Scotland hooker Ashman.

After Cobus Wiese’s red card against Toulouse, Josh Beaumont starts alongside Jonny Hill in the second-row.

And they’ve got an unchanged back-row for company as Jono Ross, captain Ben Curry and Jean-Luc du Preez complete a strong pack.

Alex has picked an unchanged back-line to face Ulster and that means Gus Warr and Rob du Preez start again at half-back, with Manu Tuilagi and Sam James outside them in the centres.

Despite Roebuck’s return to fitness, Joe Carpenter, Arron Reed and Tom O’Flaherty keep their places in the back three.

The bench features eight academy graduates with Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Joe Jones, Sam Dugdale and Rouban Birch making up the forwards replacements.

Raffi Quirke, Tom Curtis and Roebuck will offer back-line support.

Sale Sharks Starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom O’Flaherty, 13. Sam James, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Arron Reed, 10. Rob Du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Ewan Ashman, 3. James Harper, 4. Josh Beaumont, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Jono Ross, 7. Ben Curry ©, 8. Jean-Luc Du Preez


16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Rouban Birch, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Tom Roebuck.

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