TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Ampthill Rugby

Raffi Quirke starts while lock Cobus Wiese returns after a seven-month injury lay-off as Alex Sanderson names a strong team for Sharks’ last Premiership Rugby Cup outing of the season against Championship side Ampthill (KO 7.45pm, Friday 6th October). 

Hooker Tommy Taylor also starts at the Salford Stadium after injury along with Josh Beaumont and full-back Joe Carpenter as the Sharks gear up for the visit of Northampton Saints and the start of the Gallagher Premiership next week. 

In the front row, experienced prop Ross Harrison starts alongside former Wasp Taylor and Nick Schonert.  

With Jean-Luc du Preez missing with a dead leg, Beaumont will line up in a towering second-row alongside Jonny Hill, while the versatile Ernst van Rhyn moves from the second row to the back row, where he joins Dan du Preez (number 8) and openside Sam Dugdale.  

England scrum-half Quirke starts for the first time this season alongside captain Rob du Preez at half-back, while the two Sams – Bedlow and James – will team up again in the centres.   

On the replacements bench, hooker Harry Thompson, and props Si McIntyre and James Harper provide front-row cover. Rouban Birch and the returning Wiese are other back-up forwards. 

Scrum-half Gus Warr, centre Connor Doherty and winger Arron Reed make up the rest of the bench.   

Sale Sharks Starting XV:   

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Rob du Preez ©, 9. Raffi Quirke; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Josh Beaumont, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Ernst van Rhyn, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Dan du Preez.   


16. Harry Thompson, 17. Si McIntyre, 18. James Harper, 19. Cobus Wiese, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Gus Warr, 22. Connor Doherty, 23. Arron Reed.   


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