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Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs Premiership Preview

Sale Sharks will host Exeter Chiefs at the Salford City Stadium

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Article Published: Thursday 7 February 2013

Sale Sharks have brought former England winger Mark Cueto back into their starting line up to face Exeter Chiefs at the Salford City Stadium in the Aviva Premiership.

Cueto is looking to become the Premiership's leading try scorer of all time and is currently on 75 along with Steve Hanley.

Among the replacements are Nick Macleod who has been out since the defeat at Wasps in December and Will Addison who was injured in the home defeat to Northampton in November.

Director of Rugby Steve Diamond said, earlier in the week, ďAs a management team we targeted the Scarlets and Wasps LV games as potential wins. "

"We've achieved that, now we have got to do the same for the next two matches starting against Exeter Chiefs. "

"We are rock bottom of the Premiership and we have got to move up the table and if we can get through the semi to a final and maybe finish 10th in the Premiership then suddenly the season won't look quite so bad. "

"Exeter will be a big challenge for us. They are a very good side and well coached."

In terms of form, Sale Sharks have won just one of their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby contests: 33-27 at home to Worcester Warriors on 28 December.

The Sharks have won two of their last three games at Salford City Stadium in all tournaments.

Exeter Chiefs' 28-19 victory over Northampton in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday ended a six game winless sequence in all competitions.

The Chiefs are without a win in their last three Premiership encounters but have not gone four games in a row without tasting success in the tournament since 2011/12.

Exeter have won all five previous fixtures against Sale - the last two with 5-nil match point margins.

Exeter Chiefs have named Fijian flyer Watisoni Votu as one of seven changes the Chiefs show from the side that lost to Northampton in their last Premiership encounter at the start of January.

The Fijian comes in on the right wing for Gonzalo Camacho, whilst other changes see inclusions for Jack Nowell on the other wing in place of Matt Jess; Jason Shoemark and Sireli Naqelevuki team up in the centre; while up front skipper Tom Hayes, Ben White and James Scaysbrook also return.

On the bench, summer signing Kai Horstmann is included in a Premiership squad for the first time having fully recovered from a long-term hamstring problem.

Explaining the changes, Baxter - whose side will be chasing a sixth successive Premiership win over the Sharks - admitted selection this week had been particularly tough following some notable displays from a large number of his squad in recent weeks.

Baxter explained: "It's tough on Jessy, he's been a key player for us in a lot of games, but when a guy's on form it's time to keep him in and keep having a look at him. "

"It's nothing against Jessy's form, we just think Vot's is on form and he's creating opportunities. We're really pleased with him, his physicality and the impacts he's made have been good."

Gareth Steenson poised to make his 100th league appearance for the club, whilst Haydn Thomas is set for his 150th competitive game for the club should he get summoned from the bench.

Match : Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs
Date : Friday 8 February
Venue : Salford City Stadium
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Live on: ESPN
Match Officials
Greg Garner (43rd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Stuart Terheege.
TMO: Trevor Fisher


Sale Sharks

15 Rob Miller, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Tom Holmes, 5 Kearnan Myall, 6 Dan Braid, 7 David Seymour Captain, 8 James Gaskell

Replacements 16 Marc Jones, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Richie Vernon, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Will Addison

Exeter Chiefs

15 Luke Arscott , 14 Watisoni Votu , 13 Sireli Naqelevuki , 12 Jason Shoemark , 11 Jack Nowell , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Will Chudley , 1 Ben Moon , 2 Neil Clark , 3 Hoani Tui , 4 Tom Hayes (capt) , 5 Dean Mumm , 6 Ben White , 7 James Scaysbrook , 8 Richard Baxter

Replacements : 16 Jack Yeandle , 17 Carl Rimmer , 18 Alex Brown , 19 Aly Muldowney , 20 Kai Horstmann , 21 Haydn Thomas , 22 Ignacio Mieres , 23 Phil Dollman

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