Sale Sharks v Wasps Premiership Preview

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

Wasps have named a side with four changes for their Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has brought back George Smith and Ben Jacobs for their trip to Salford as both players have been named in the starting line up.

The other two changes to the starting side see Joe Simpson start at scrum half and Sam Jones at number eight.

Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We were all disappointed not to get anything from last weekend’s game. Having looked back at the match, we were happy with how we played in the most part but there were small mistakes that allowed Saracens to pull clear and we will take what we have learnt from that going forward.

“This weekend is another big challenge. Our record up there isn’t brilliant, so we know how tough a prospect it is that faces us. They are a very rugged side, who will fight for everything and we have to match that physicality first and foremost.

“The next couple of weeks are big for us in terms of our season. Going into the new year we want to be putting our best foot forward and we need to firing on all fronts as we hit the middle stages of the campaign.”

Sale Sharks are without a win in their last four Aviva Premiership rugby fixtures since beating Northampton 20-13 at AJ Bell Stadium in round 3.

Sale are unbeaten at home in any tournament since Harlequins were victorious in Salford last April.

Wasps have won just one of their last four fixtures in all competitions: 36-10 over Bath at the Recreation Ground in the European Champions Cup on 19th December.

Wasps have won their last three away games at Leinster, London Irish and Bath.

The last time the two clubs met Wasps won 41-16 at the Ricoh Arena almost exactly 12 months ago to end a six game winning run by the Sharks against Wasps in all competitions.

Wasps have lost on all four previous visits to AJ Bell Stadium, whilst their only victory on Sale soil since March 2005 was by a single point in 49 at Edgeley Park in Aviva Premiership Rugby in October 2010.

Sale Sharks have made two changes to the side that lost out to Exeter Chiefs on Boxing Day. David Seymour and Chris Cusiter come into the starting fifteen replacing TJ Ioane and Peter Stringer respectively.

Speaking ahead of the game, Diamond said: “Wasps are coming with a lot of gusto coming out of the Champions Cup and there is not much between us in the league , it’s going to be a great game. We’ve got to have a good crack at it and get ourselves the four points on offer.”

The Bookies have given Wasps a 1 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Sale Sharks v Wasps
Date : Saturday 2 January
Venue : AJ Bell Stadium
Kick Off : 5.30pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :Luke Pearce (44th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Greg Macdonald.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Teams

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. David Seymour, 8. Josh Beaumont.

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

Wasps

15. Rob Miller, 14. Frank Halai, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Ben Jacobs, 11. Charles Piutau, 10. Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Joe Simpson, 8. Sam Jones, 7. George Smith, 6. James Haskell (c), 5. James Gaskell, 4. Joe Launchbury, 3. Lorenzo Cittadini, 2. Ashley Johnson, 1. Matt Mullan

Replacements : 16. Edd Shervington, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Phil Swainston, 19. Kearnan Myall, 20. Thomas Young, 21. Dan Robson, 22. Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Sailosi Tagicakibau

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