TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

Luke Cowan-Dickie makes his first Sale start while England fly-half George Ford returns to the number ten shirt and winger Tom O’Flaherty is back on the replacements bench after injury as Your Sharks gear up for a top of the table clash against Bath Rugby this Friday (KO 7.45pm, LIVE on PRTV, BBC Radio Manchester). 

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson makes just three changes to his side following the 40-22 win against Newcastle as Sale go in search of an 11th consecutive home win. 

In total, the matchday squad features 13 players who have been involved with the club’s academy. 

Two of the three team changes comes in the front-row where England hooker Cowan-Dickie starts for the first-time following cameos off the bench in wins against Bristol and Newcastle. 

The 30-year-old, who joined Sharks in the summer from Exeter, starts alongside fellow fellow England man Bevan Rodd and Nick Schonert, who replaces James Harper. 

Cobus Wiese and Jonny Hill link up again in the second-row and the Gallagher Premiership’s top tackler Ernst van Rhyn, captain Ben Curry, who made more dominant tackles than any other player in round six, and Dan du Preez make up a powerful back-row. 

Gus Warr has Ford for company in the half-backs and the England fly-half’s return sees Rob du Preez switch back to the centres where he’ll team up with Sam Bedlow. 

Alex has named an unchanged back-three with the league’s top-scorer Arron Reed (five tries) and Tom Roebuck either side of full-back Joe Carpenter, who made more metres than anyone in the league in round six (131). 

Agustin Creevy, Si McIntyre and Harper are picked as the front-row replacements while Josh Beaumont and Sam Dugdale will cover the rest of the forwards. 

Nye Thomas, Sam James and O’Flaherty are the backs replacements. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV:   

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Arron Reed, 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Ernst van Rhyn, 7. Ben Curry ©, 8. Dan du Preez.   


16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Si McIntyre, 18. James Harper, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Nye Thomas, 22. Sam James, 23. Tom O’Flaherty.   

  • Arron Reed was the only player to score two tries at the weekend. He is now the league’s top try scorer having scored five thus far and has also made more clean breaks than any other Premiership player (11). 
  • Joe Carpenter made more metres than any other player in Round 6, a total of 131. 
  • Ben Curry made a round-high five dominant tackles against Newcastle Falcons – as many as any player has made in a single match so far this season. 
  • Ernst van Rhyn has made the most successful tackles in the Premiership (95) and the most dominant tackles (14). 
  • The Sharks have won their last ten home games at the Salford Stadium in Premiership Rugby since Harlequins beat them there in October 2022.  
  • Sale are unbeaten in their last five fixtures against Bath since Bath’s 27-22 victory at the Salford Stadium in February 2021.  

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