Lion Sheridan returns for Sale Sharks

British Lions prop Andrew Sheridan is set to make his Sale Sharks return in the Guinness Premiership this Sunday up at Newcastle. Sunday will be the England star’s first competitive action since that famous third test victory in Johannesburg in July.

Sale Sharks are looking to maintain their winning start to the season after upsetting defending champions at home last Friday.

Sharks’ Mathew Tait will be making his first start of the season at outside centre against his former club.

The Sharks’ hope that Tait’s familiarity with Kingston Park will provide his team with some competitive insight as the stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Sale Sharks, who have only beaten the Falcons once at home in the club’s history. However, that first ever win was collected last season and perhaps the Kingston Park curse may have finally been put to rest.

Director of Rugby Kingsley Jones is looking for a strong performance on Sunday. “I told the players last week that the fact that everyone seems to have written us off because a few players have left was an insult to them. They showed against Leicester that we have some real quality in our side, and when it came down to it, I believe we won that game because we wanted it more.”

We have to be hungry again on Sunday against Newcastle. We have a lot of respect for them, particularly up front where I think that have the best pack in the Premiership . It will be a real battle and a real test of our character.”

Looking ahead, Kingsley also wants to see more support for his players.

“I believe we have a group of players that can really gel and compete for a top four spot this season. We have some really talented local players like James Gaskell and David Tait earning themselves a spot in our starting XV. We have strong competition in all places and a squad full of players who are willing to fight for that blue Sharks’ jersey.

Not that I am looking ahead, but I was slightly disappointed to learn from the club that the next home game against Bath is not looking like a sell out. This club and these players deserve to play in front of big crowds, particularly at home.

“The support we had against Leicester in the final ten minutes, I think made a huge difference to the win. I hope we have that same kind of support when we return home against Bath.”

Sale Sharks Team
Marika Vakacegu, Mark Cueto, Mathew Tait, Andy Tuilagi, Ben Cohen, Lee Thomas, Richard Wigglesworth, Andrew Sheridan, Mahonri Schwalger, Eifion Roberts, Chris Jones, Dean Schofield, James Gaskell, Neil Briggs, David Tait

Marc Jones, Gavin Kerr, Jack Forster, David Seymour, Rob O’Donnell, Will Cliff, Nick Macleod, Chris Bell

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