Quins vs Sale Anglo Welsh LV= Cup Final preview

Premiership Champions Harlequins will face Sale Sharks in the 2012/13 Anglo Welsh LV= Cup final at Sixways Stadium in Worcester on Sunday.


Harlequins are bidding to become just the second reigning Premiership champions to carry off the LV= Cup following London Wasps in 2006.


Quins are also aiming to become only the second side to win the title with a played six, won six record since Northampton in 2010.


Harlequins have won their last five appearances at finals since their 27-30 defeat to Newcastle in the final of the 2001 Tetley’s Bitter Cup at Twickenham.


The Londoners’ solitary defeat in their seven previous visits to Sixways was 7-33 to Worcester in the Premiership on 2 October 2004.


Sale Sharks’ only defeat in the LV= Cup this season came in round one, 28-34, to London Irish at Madejski Stadium.


The Sharks have not played in a final since they won the Premiership title at Twickenham in 2006, and have not lost a major final since Newcastle beat them 37-33 in the Powergen Cup final of 2004.


Sale have lost on their last three visits to Sixways since beating the Warriors there, 37-20, in the Premiership on 31 January 2009.


In the context of the competition the English domination continues as this is the fourth successive LV= Cup final with no Welsh involvement.

Harlequins have won the last six meetings between the two clubs in all competitions since the Sharks won 21-17 at Edgeley Park in the Premiership on 17 September 2010.


This will be their third fixture this season following a 37-14 Quins win at the Twickenham Stoop on 15 September and a 30-21 win at Salford City Stadium on 22 February.


The sides have met five times before in a knockout cup situation, with Sale victorious only once – the 1997 Pilkington Cup semi-final at Heywood Road.


They have clashed twice before in the pool phase of this competition with Sale winning 28-27 at the Stoop in October 2006 and Harlequins victorious 37-25 at Edgeley Park five years later.


After losing 28-34 in the opening group game at London Irish, Sale have gone on to beat Saracens twice, Wasps at Adams Park and Scarlets at the Salford City Stadium to reach the final for the first time.


Sunday is the first time Sale Sharks have played in a major final since May 2006 when they beat Leicester Tigers in the Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham.


Sale have used 45 players in reaching the final with Tony Buckley, Danny Cipriani, Ross Harrison and Tommy Taylor featuring in every game so far.


Sale have scored 17 tries in the competition so far with Danny Cipriani top try scorer with 3.


Danny has scored 64 points in all which is just two behind leader Ben Botica of Quins.


Harlequins have named an unchanged team from last week’s semi-final victory over Bath.


There is one change among the replacements, which sees James Johnston coming in for Kyle Sinckler who is away with the England U20s in Wales.


The Harlequins squad is filled with youth as 14 of the match day squad lifted the Aviva ‘A’ League title in December, while 15 are under 23 years of age.


Match : Harlequins vs Sale Sharks
Date : Sunday 17 March 2013
Venue : Sixways Stadium Worcester
Kick Off : 15.00
Live on: Sky
Match Officials
Referee:
Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Paul Dix (England), Peter Huckle (England)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters (England)
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury (England)


Teams


Harlequins


15. Ross Chisholm , 14. Tom Williams , 13. George Lowe , 12. Tom Casson , 11. Sam Smith , 10. Ben Botica , 9. Karl Dickson ,8. Tom Guest, 7. Luke

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