Northampton vs Sale LV= Cup preview

Northampton Saints have named their team for their LV= Cup Round 3 match at Sale Sharks on Friday night.

The Saints and Sale go into tomorrow’s game at the top of their respective pools. But with their rivals ready to pounce, both teams know that only a win will do in the race for a semi-final spot.

The travellers have received plenty of attention in the wake of last weekend’s Heineken Cup action, but director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that all of the focus within the camp has been directed on the game at Edgeley Park, a venue where the Saints have never won.

“We were part of a superb occasion last Friday but now we have to get our feet back on the ground and concentrate on winning at Edgeley Park,” the Saints boss said today.

“We have gone well in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season and we want that run to continue. Only one team can qualify from our pool into the semi-finals and we want that to be us. To be in that position we need to keep winning, but we will have our work cut out for us tomorrow.

“Like us Sale have had several players called up by England so we don’t know what kind of team they will be putting out. But we do know that they will be extremely competitive. Last weekend’s game was the first they have lost at home since early October and they are top of their pool and in contention for a semi-final spot themselves.

“It will be a tough game for us.”

With Dylan Hartley away with England the captain’s armband will be worn by Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe. There are two potential first team debutants on the bench, hooker Andy Long and Senior Academy forward Owen Giles.

Sale Sharks have named Jack Forster to return to the the front row and David Seymour returns at flanker.

Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Kingsley Jones said, ” After the disappointment of going out of Europe last weekend, we have a good opportunity to try and make progress in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup.”

“We had a good win last time out against Leeds in November and I have selected my strongest available side for this game.”

“Northampton Saints will be buzzing after their great display in Ireland last week and they also had a good run in this competition last season.

“Should be a great game, we are looking forward to it.”

Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks
Edgeley Park Friday, January 29th, 2010
Kick off 7:45pm

Northampton Saints

15 Bruce Reihana 14 Chris Ashton 13 Joe Ansbro 12 Chris Mayor 11 Paul Diggin 10 Stephen Myler 9 Alan Dickens 1 Brian Mujati 2 Brett Sharman 3 Euan Murray 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe (capt) 5 Juandre Kruger 6 Neil Best 7 Scott Gray 8 Mark Easter

Replacements 16 Andy Long 17 Soane Tonga’uiha 18 Alex Waller 19 Owen Giles 20 Roger Wilson 21 Lee Dickson 22 Barry Everitt 23 Nick Greenhalgh

Sale Sharks

Nick Macleod, Ben Cohen, Jonny Kennedy, David Bishop, David Doherty, Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Eifion Roberts, Marc Jones, Jack Forster, Dean Schofield, Sean Cox, Chris Jones, David Seymour, Sisa Koyamaibole

Replacements:.Mahonri Schwalger, Gavin Kerr, Martin Halsall, James Gaskell, Carl Fearns, Chris Leck, Marika Vakacegu. Oriol Ripol

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