Sale Sharks v London Wasps preview

Sale Sharks welcome back fly half Charlie Hodgson for their Aviva Premiership Round 5 match against London Wasps at Edgeley Park on Friday, 1st October 2010 (kick off 7.45 p.m.).

Former Ulster and Harlequins flanker Neil McMillan makes his debut, with back row man Chris Brightwell set to follow suit if he comes off the bench. Andy Tuilagi returns from injury and takes his place at inside centre.

Earlier this week, Sharks’ Head Coach Mike Brewer commented, “It’s great to have Charlie back. In Monday’s training run, he added another dimension to our game. A player of Charlie’s experience is more than just what he executes as our fly half. It’s also his game management and overall decision making which is invaluable.”

He added, “We know how important it is to do well in our home games. We’ve won the first two at Edgeley Park, and in our planning for tomorrow’s match have absorbed the lessons learned at Bath last Saturday.”

Sale Sharks’ last five games have all been won by the home side on the day. Sale have won their last two games at Edgeley Park.

London Wasps have won just one of their four matches of Aviva Premiership Rugby so far: 37-30 over Leicester in round two. Wasps have lost both away games they have played this season.

The Sharks have won three of their last four encounters with Wasps, whilst the Londoners have not won at Edgeley Park since a 27-25 victory on 25 March 2005.

London Wasps Director of Rugby Tony Hanks has made five changes and two positional switches to the 1XV that narrowly missed out on victory at Kingsholm last weekend; welcoming Richard Haughton, Ben Jacobs, Ben Broster, Andy Powell and captain Tom Rees back into the starting line up.

Haughton is named at full back and trades places with Mark Van Gisbergen, who is named on the bench. Dominic Waldouck moves to inside centre and is partnered with Jacobs as Riki Flutey is rested inline with the EPS agreement.

In the front row, Phil Vickery is ruled out due to illness and makes way for Ben Broster. Broster’s place on the bench is filled with new prop and former Worcester player Shaun Ruwers, who joined the Club earlier this month on an initial four month contract.

With Simon Shaw also rested as part of the EPS agreement, try scorer against Gloucester Dan Ward-Smith moves to the second row to partner Richard Birkett. Andy Powell takes Ward-Smith’s place in the back row, joining Joe Worsley and Rees who leads the side eager for victory on the road.

On the bench, Ruwers and Van Gisbergen are joined by Serge Betsen and Steve Kefu. Rob Webber, who has overcome a foot injury this week, maintains his place on the bench alongside Charlie Beech and Nic Berry.

Looking ahead to the game, Hanks said, “We were disappointed not to come away with a win last weekend and need to ensure we put things right on Friday night. We have worked hard in training and the squad are fully focused on the task in hand.”

Match : Sale Sharks v London Wasps
Date: Friday 1st October
Venue : Edgeley Park
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Referee: David Rose (81st Premiership game)


Sale Sharks ; Paul Williams; Tom Brady, Ben Cohen, Andy Tuilagi, Mark Cueto; Charlie Hodgson, Dwayne Peel; Karena Wihongi, Neil Briggs, Jack Forster, Nic Rouse, James Gaskell (capt.), Carl Fearns, Neil McMillan, Kristian Ormsby.

Replacements: Marc Jones, Aston Croall, Lee Imiolek, Wame Lewaravu, Chris Brightwell, Will Cliff, Rob Miller, Chris Bell.

London Wasps : 15. Richard Haughton , 14. Tom Varndell , 13. Ben Jacobs , 12. Dominic Waldouck , 11. David Lemi , 10. Dave Walde

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