Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons Premiership Preview

Sale Sharks host Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell stadium

Newcastle Falcons have named a team with five changes to their starting line up for this week’s Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Falcons smashed Enisei STM in the Challenge Cup last weekend but will face much sterner opposition this weekend in the Premiership.

The changes see a wealth of experience return to the side, with four new faces in the backs and one in the pack adding 84 international caps to the team.

The round five match against Steve Diamond’s side sees the return of the tried and tested centre partnership of Adam Powell and Juan Pablo Socino as they line up together for the first time this season, while out wide, Italian international Giamba Venditti and Marcus Watson take the wing berths.

Watson makes his first Aviva Premiership start off the back of a blistering performance against Enisei in the European Challenge Cup that saw him show a full array of skills on his way to four tries, for twenty of his team’s 55 points on the afternoon.

His performance was one of many to catch the eye and provide the Falcons with a timely lift ahead of the resumption of Premiership games.

In the half backs, Michael Young continues in his position at Scrum Half while Mike Delany returns to the fly half shirt that he vacated during the European fortnight.

After a rock solid showing against a vaunted Russian pack, the Falcons eight sees only one change this weekend, with Nili Latu coming into the side in the place of Dan Temm.

Latu’s inclusion does see the rest of the back row make positional switches, as he takes over the number eight shirt, with Mark Wilson moving across to the blindside flank and captain Will Welch returning to his more familiar openside spot.

On the replacements bench, Scott Lawson, Alex Rogers and Taione Vea continue to provide the front row replacements, while further international class is available with Mouritz Botha and Ally Hogg completing the forward options.

Ruki Tipuna will again provide the opportunity for a further injection of tempo in the 21 shirt, while Tom Catterick and Chris Harris also lie in wait and ready to make an impact when called upon.

Sale Sharks’ last six Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst their only loss at AJ Bell Stadium in Premiership Rugby in 2015 was 23-25 to Harlequins in April.

Newcastle Falcons have lost all four matches so far this season in Aviva Premiership Rugby since their 37-21 victory at home to Harlequins in round 22 last season.

The Falcons only win on the road in the tournament since October 2013 came at London Welsh in 11 October 2014.

Sale have won their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby contests with Newcastle since the Falcons’ 15-14 victory at AJ Bell Stadium in September 2013.

Meanwhile Sharks Director Steve Diamond has brought Danny Cipriani, captain Dan Braid, Vadim Cobilas & Sam Tuitupou back into the side, plus Eifion Lewis Roberts is set to make his first appearance of the season, having picked up an injury in pre-season.

Speaking ahead of the game, Steve Diamond has said:”Newcastle Falcons are a good team, and the Aviva Premiership is much stiffer and harder this season, so the points they haven’t got along with London Irish, belie their abilities so we can’t take them for granted. ”

“There are a couple of games they should have won, and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got to play as best as we can to beat them.”

Match : Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons
Date : Saturday 28 November
Venue : AJ Bell Stadium,
Kick Off : 2.30pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Craig Maxwell-Keys (7th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan and Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Trevor Fisher


Sale Sharks

15. Mike Haley, 14. Tom Arscott, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Tuitupou, 11. Will Addison, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Chris Cusiter, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Vadim Cobilas, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Jonathan Mills, 6. Dan Braid (capt.), 7. Magnus Lund, 8. Josh Beaumont.

Replacements: 16. Cameron Neild, 17. Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18. Brian Mujati, 19. Andrei Ostrikov, 20. TJ Ioane, 21. Peter Stringer, 22. Joe Ford, 23. Mark Jennings

Newcastle Falcons

15 Alex Tait, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Calum Green, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch, 8 Nili Latu

Replacements : 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Chris Harris.

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