Sale Sharks v London Irish Premiership Preview

Sale Sharks were beaten at Worcester Warriors last Saturday but they have never begun a Premiership campaign with back to back defeats. The Sharks have now suffered four straight defeats and have not lost five in a row in the competition since season 2006/07.

London Irish were defeated by Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday – their third successive loss in Aviva Premiership Rugby. The Exiles’ only away win in any competition since last October was 34-20 over Sale at the Reebok Stadium on 16 April.

The Sharks have beaten London Irish just once in the Premiership since October 2006: 14-8 at Edgeley Park on 9 January 2009.

London Irish has made five changes and one positional change to its side for Friday night’s Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park (Kick-off 7.45pm).

New Zealand international, Clarke Dermody, returns to the front row to captain the side alongside David Paice and Leo Halavatau. Alex Gray will start at openside flanker with Kieran Roche and Chris Hala’ufia joining him in the back row.

Daniel Bowden moves from inside centre to fly half and will partner Darren Allinson who comes in at scrum half. Steve Shingler will start at inside centre.

London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “The effort and endeavour that the squad have put in this week has been impressive. Sale is never an easy place to go even when they are missing 25 per cent of their squad. We look forward to the challenge.”

Even though Sale Sharks narrowly lost their opening Aviva Premiership game at Worcester last weekend but Diamond is very upbeat, ” Both Leicester and Saracens lost at the weekend too and lets be honest its not a six week competition we are involved in here, its played over 22 rounds. There were plenty of positives to take out of last weeks game.”

Coach Tony Hanks believes the supporters have a big role to play at Edgeley Park. He said, ” The supporters are very close to the pitch and can make themselves heard. They get behind the players and we must use this to our advantage.”

The Bookies have given Sale Sharks a 1 point start for this match so they predict a tight clash.

Match : Sale Sharks v London Irish
Venue : Edgeley Park
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Referee: Sean Davey (99th Premiership game)


London Irish :15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Steve Shingler; 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Dan Bowden; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Clarke Dermody (Captain); 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Kieran Roche; 7. Alex Gray; 8. Chris Hala’ufia

Replacements : 16. James Buckland; 17. Max Lahiff; 18. Mark George; 19. Tom Alexander; 20. Ed Siggery; 21. Adam Thompstone; 22. Guy Armitage; 23. Paul Hodgson

Sale Sharks : Rob Miller, Tom Brady, Andrew Higgins, Will Addison, Joaquin Tuculet, Nick MacLeod, Dwayne Peel, Lee Imiolek, Joe Ward, Henry Thomas, Fraser McKenzie, Kearnan Myall, James Gaskell, David Seymour Captain, Mark Easter

Replacements Neil Briggs, Aston Croall, Vadim Cobilas, Tom Holmes, Tommy Taylor, Scott Mathie, Jordan Davies, Charlie Amesbury

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