Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby Premiership Preview

Sale Sharks host Bath Rugby at the Salford City (AJ Bell) Stadium

Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has named a team with four changes for this Sunday’s Aviva Premiership match against Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium

The Sharks go into the game against Bath on the back of a defeat to Top 14 side Montpellier in the Quarter Final of the Challenge Cup.

The Sharks are still unbeaten at home in the Aviva Premiership this season and haven’t lost at the AJ Bell Stadium since April 2015, when they lost to Harlequins. Bath were victorious however on their last visit to Salford back in September 2014.

Steve Diamond has opted to make four changes to the side that lost to Montpellier. Sam Tuitupou returns to captain the Sharks, with Will Addison, Eifion Lewis Roberts and Mark Easter also returning to the side.

Speaking ahead of the encounter, Diamond said: “Bath have got some exceptional players and if we don’t play to the best of our abilities at home, we’ll get beat. We know they are coming to try and get a win, and if we don’t play as well as we could do, we won’t win the game.”

“The mentality is to get in that top six and get in the Champions Cup. We’ve got two games at home, and we’ve got to win those, and then away from home, give it our best shot. We’ve got to convert those four fixtures into points.”

Sale Sharks have won their last two fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby since tripping up at Wasps in round 17.

The Sharks solitary defeat at AJ Bell Stadium in Premiership Rugby since the turn of the New Year 2015 was 23-25 to Harlequins on 25th April 2015.

Bath Rugby were defeated 10-30 at home to Saracens in round 19, but won their most recent away game 17-12 at Gloucester on 26th March.

Bath have won their last two encounters with Sale ut have not achieved an Aviva Premiership Rugby season’s double over then since season 2010/11.

Bath won on their most recent visit to AJ Bell Stadium in September 2014.

Bath have named their team to play this weekend and handed George Ford the captaincy. +

Scrum-half Chris Cook will make his 70th Club appearance, partnered by Ford. Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph are at 12 and 13 respectively.

Rhys Priestland wears the number 15 jersey for the first time this season, backed by the double threat of Matt Banahan and Semesa Rokoduguni on the wings.

Nathan Catt, Rob Webber and Henry Thomas start in the front row, with Dave Attwood and Dominic Day powering the scrum from the second row.

Matt Garvey is at six, and openside Guy Mercer and number eight Leroy Houston complete the back row.

The Bookies have given Bath a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby
Date : Sunday 17 April
Venue : AJ Bell Stadium,
Kick Off : 2.30pm
Live on:  N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Luke Pearce (50th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey & Ross Campbell.
TMO: David Sainsbury.

Teams

Sale Sharks

15. Mike Haley, 14. Will Addison, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Tuitupou, 11. Nev Edwards, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Peter Stringer, 1. Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Vadim Cobilas, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Cameron Neild, 7. TJ Ioane, 8. Mark Easter

Replacements: 16. Neil Briggs, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Brian Mujati, 19. Jonathan Mills, 20. David Seymour, 21. James Mitchell, 22. Joe Ford, 23. Tom Brady

Bath

15 Rhys Priestland , 14 Semesa Rokoduguni , 13 Jonathan Joseph , 12 Ollie Devoto , 11 Matt Banahan , 10 George Ford (c) , 9 Chris Cook , 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer , 6 Matt Garvey , 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Henry Thomas , 2 Rob Webber ,1 Nathan Catt

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn , 17 Nick Auterac , 18 David Wilson , 19 Charlie Ewels , 20 David Denton , 21 Amanaki Mafi , 22 Will Homer , 23 Kyle Eastmond

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