Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors Premiership Preview

Sale Sharks host Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell stadium

Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan has named an unchanged team to play Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday in the Aviva Premiership.

GJ van Velze will lead Warriors as they look to build on their opening day Aviva Premiership success against Northampton Saints.

New signing Tevita Cavubati could be in line for his Warriors debut from the bench while prop Val Rapava Ruskin, fly-half Ryan Lamb and utility back Ben Howard are also among the replacements.

Ryan said: “It was really pleasing to get the win last week but now we’ve got an opportunity to go away from home and try and replicate that performance.

“One of the most positive things we talked about was that we can improve, but we’ve got to be as committed and physical again.

“With Danny Cipriani at ten they’re a lot more inventive in attack and it puts more stress on individuals rather than a test of your system.

“We’ve got to take a very different attack and see if we can get it under control. It’s a really different challenge and we have to test ourselves in a new environment.

“We haven’t come into the league to try and target different fixtures. We’re targeting every single weekend and everybody picked has to be capable of going right away.”

Sale Sharks’ only win in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures was 34-28 over Newcastle at AJ Bell Stadium on 9th May.

The Sharks have been defeated only once in the competition at Salford in 2015: 23-25 by Harlequins in round 20 last season.

Worcester Warriors repeated their feat of winning their first game after promotion in beating Northampton on Friday – something they had also achieved in 2011 and no other club has achieved since.

Worcester’s only away defeat in any competition since September 2014 was 21-23 at Jersey in the Championship in March.

The Sharks have won their last six matches against The Warriors in all competitions since Worcester’s 23-16 victory at Sixways in Aviva Premiership Rugby in October 2012.

Worcester have not won on Sale’s soil since a trip to Edgeley Park in November 2008.

Meanwhile Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has named Vadim Cobilas to make his 100th appearance for the club who also welcome back Johnny Leota and TJ Ioane after their World Cup commitments.

Both players made an impact at the World Cup, with TJ Ioane producing the tackle of the tournament on South Africa’s Adriaan Strauss.

Josh Beaumont returns to number 8 with Jonathan Mills starting at lock. Andrei Ostrikov is on the bench.

Vadim joined the club back in March 2011, from VVA-Podmoskovye Monino and was a relative unknown before joining the club, and is now one of the best tighthead props in Europe.

Speaking ahead of the game, Steve Diamond said: “Worcester are coached well by Dean Ryan and he has recruited well during the summer. Last Friday, we saw not only how they can attack but also how they defended against Northampton Saints.”

Match : Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors
Date : Friday 23rd October
Venue : AJ Bell Stadium
Kick Off : 8pm
Live on:  N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Luke Pearce (41st Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner & Paul Burton
TMO: Trevor Fisher.


Sale Sharks

15.Mike Haley, 14. Tom Arscott, 13. Johnny Leota, 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. David Seymour, 8. Josh Beaumont

Replacements 16. Neil Briggs, 17. James Flynn, 18. Brian Mujati, 19. Andrei Ostrikov, 20. TJ Ioane, 21. Peter Stringer, 22. Nick Macleod, 23. Sam James


15 Chris Pennell , 14 Tom Biggs , 13 Wynand Olivier , 12 Ryan Mills , 11 Cooper Vuna , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Jonny Arr , 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga , 2 Niall Annett , 3 Nick Schonert , 4 Donncha O’Callaghan , 5 Darren Barry , 6 Phil Dowson , 7 Marco Mama , 8 GJ van Velze (C)

Replacements :16 Dan George , 17 Val Rapava Ruskin , 18 Joe Rees , 19 Tevita Cavubati , 20 Matt Cox , 21 Charlie Mulchrone , 22 Ryan Lamb , 23 Ben Howard

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