TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons

Joe Carpenter returns to the Sharks starting line-up while Ben Curry captains the side and Rob du Preez replaces the rested George Ford at fly-half as Alex Sanderson names a strong team for the round six visit of Newcastle Falcons on Friday night (KO 7.45pm, live on PRTV & BBC Radio Manchester). 

Elsewhere, England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will make his home debut for the club after he was named on the replacements bench again alongside academy prop Asher Opoku-Fordjour, who appears in a Gallagher Premiership matchday squad for the first time. 

In a game showcasing the very best of northern rugby, Alex has named 14 players who hail from the north of England in his matchday squad. 

The Sharks Director of Rugby has made one change to his front-row for the visit of the Falcons, with academy graduate James Harper starting alongside Bevan Rodd and hooker Agustin Creevy. 

Jonny Hill returns to resume his partnership with Cobus Wiese in the second-row, while Alex has picked an unchanged back-row featuring captain Curry, Ernst van Rhyn and Dan du Preez. 

Gus Warr continues at scrum-half and he’ll have Rob du Preez for company with Ford given a week off following his World Cup exertions. 

Sam James shifts from full-back to outside centre, where he teams up again with Sam Bedlow, while Carpenter returns in the 15 shirt either side of wingers Arron Reed and Tom Roebuck. 

Cowan-Dickie, Ross Harrison and Opoku-Fordjour are picked as the front-row replacements while Ben Bamber and Sam Dugdale will cover the rest of the forwards. 

Nye Thomas, Tom Curtis and Alex Wills are the backs replacements. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV:   

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Arron Reed, 10. Rob du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Agustin Creevy, 3. James Harper, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Ernst van Rhyn, 7. Ben Curry ©, 8. Dan du Preez.   


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Asher Opoku-Fordjour 19. Ben Bamber, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Nye Thomas, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Alex Wills.   

  • For the second time this season, Ernst van Rhyn made more successful tackles in round five than any other player (22). He is the only player in the league who has made more than 80 successful tackles (84). 
  • Arron Reed has made two more clean breaks than any other player in the Premiership (nine). He has scored three tries in the Sharks’ campaign so far. 
  • The Sharks have made an average of 10.6 offloads per 80 minutes in their opening five fixtures – more than any other team. 
  • Newcastle Falcons have made the most maul metres (131) and scored the joint-most maul tries (three) in the Premiership. 
  • The Falcons’ collision dominance this season is a league-low 9.6%. Just 2.6% of their tackles have been dominant – fewer than any other side. 

Related articles

  • Foundation


    Read more