Amlin Challenge Cup: Sale welcome Biarritz to Salford on Thursday

Last Updated: 11/10/13 10:39pm

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Joe Ford: Selected to start at fly-half for the Sharks on Thursday night

Joe Ford: Selected to start at fly-half for the Sharks on Thursday night

Sky Bet

Joe Ford starts at fly-half for Sale on Thursday when they open their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign against Biarritz, live on Sky Sports.

Ford takes over in the no 10 role from Danny Cipriani, who is instead amongst the replacements, while scrum-half Will Cliff starts in place of Dwayne Peel.

Sammy Tuitupou returns at centre in place of Andy Forsyth while Jonathan Mills moves from lock to blindside flanker in the pack.

The Sharks have also freshened up their entire front row from the side that saw off Bath in Aviva Premiership action last time out at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Henry Thomas and Ross Harrison start in the prop positions either side of hooker Marc Jones.

Biarritz travel to England having suffered a disastrous start to their season; they have won just once in nine outings so far and were beaten by Perpignan in their most recent outing.

International trio

Julien Peyrelongue will captain the visitors from fly-half as international trio Dimitri Yachvili, Fabien Barcella and Takudzwa Ngwenya are all on the bench.

Joe Pietersen moves from wing to full-back as Aled Brew and Teddy Thomas start on the wings.

Mathias Marie comes into the second row and there is a new front-row for the Basque side in Thomas Synaeghel, Romain Ruffenach and Eugene Van Staden.

Thursday's other fixture in European club rugby's second-tier competition sees Bayonne welcome Grenoble to Stade Jean-Dauger, with both teams going into the game off the back of domestic victories in the Top 14.

British and Irish Lion Mike Phillips is a substitute for Bayonne, while New Zealand winger Joe Rokocoko misses out on the 23-man squad completely for the home team.

Former Bath back Olly Barkley is not included in Grenoble's line-up as they too ring the changes following their triumph over Racing Metro last weekend.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Phillip Mackenzie, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Will Cliff; 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 6 Jon Mills, 7 Dan Braid (c), 8 Mark Easter.

Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Aston Croall, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Andrew Hughes, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Tom Arscott.

Biarritz: 15 Jo Pietersen, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Sella, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Julien Peyrelongue (c), 9 Yann Lesgourgues; 1 Thomas Synaeghel, 2 Romain Ruffenach, 3 Eugene Van Staden, 4 Addison Lockley, 5 Mathias Marie, 6 Benoit Guyot, 7 Joshua Furno, 8 Tanguy Molcard

Replacements: 16 Jonnah Dabti, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Erik Lund, 20 Alexandre Menini, 21 Dimitri Yachvili, 22 Charles Gimenez, 23 Taku Ngwenya.

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