London Wasps v Sale Sharks preview

London Wasps’ Head Coach, Shaun Edwards, has made five changes to the starting line-up that lost to Saracens in last weekend’s fixture, as Ben Jacobs returns to the back line and Joe Ward, Joe Worsley, Simon Shaw and Dan Ward-Smith all return to the pack.


In a positional switch, Richard Haughton moves to full back, where he has shown true class this season, with Mark van Gisbergen moving to the bench, allowing Ben Jacobs to return to the starting team on the wing.


Joe Ward and Tom Lindsay swap places with Ward starting at hooker. Simon Shaw returns from international duty to take his place in the second row, whilst Dan Ward-Smith has recovered from injury to start at number eight.


Shaun Edwards said: “It is vital that we win this weekend to get our season back on track. Games between ourselves and Sale have been traditionally very close and competitive.”


The game against Sale comes in the week that Wasps announced the signing of Sharks centre Chris Bell who will join the London club on a three year deal next season.


London Wasps have lost their last five matches – their worst run since season 2001/02. Wasps have lost their last three home games, although the first of these was taken to Abu Dhabi.


Sale Sharks have also been defeated in their last five encounters in all competitions, whilst the Sharks have not won an away Premiership encounter at anywhere other than Headingley since they visited Worcester on 31 January 2009.


Wasps won a thriller 25-24 when the two clubs met in round five at Edgeley Park and have not achieved a Premiership double over the Sharks in the regular season since 2003/04.


Hooker Neil Briggs returns for Sale Sharks against London Wasps after being sidelined through a training ground injury since November. His last game was against Northampton Saints.


Looking ahead to the game, Sharks’ Head Coach Pete Anglesea said, “We’re looking to continue from last week’s game against the Tigers, where the lads showed plenty of heart and spirit, but we are aware that, to get anything against the Wasps, we’ll have to put in a massive performance.”


The Bookies have given Sale Sharks a 10 point start for this match.


Match : London Wasps v Sale Sharks
Date : Sunday 6th March
Venue :Adams Park
Kick Off: 3pm
Referee: Dave Pearson (151st Premiership game)


Teams


London Wasps: 15 Richard Haughton , 14 Ben Jacobs , 13 Dominic Waldouck , 12 Riki Flutey , 11 David Lemi , 10 Dave Walder , 9 Joe Simpson , 1 Tim Payne , 2 Joe Ward , 3 Ben Broster , 4 Simon Shaw , 5 Richard Birkett (c) , 6 John Hart , 7 Joe Worsley , 8 Dan Ward-Smith


Replacements , 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Bob Baker, 18 Zak Taulafo, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 James Cannon, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Mark van Gisbergen, 23 Andy Powell


Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Kyle Tonetti, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Lee Imiolek, 2 Neil Briggs, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Chris Jones, 5 Sean Cox, 6 James Gaskell (capt.), 7 Neil McMillan, 8 Sisaro Koyamaibole.


Replacements 16 Aston Croall, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Jack Forster, 19 Wame Lewaravu, 20 Nic Rouse, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Paul Williams.

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