Sale v Bath: Teams
At Edgeley Park, Friday October 24, kick-off 7.45pm
Last Updated: 23/10/08 2:01pm
Thomas: Injury blow
Sale Sharks will be without centre Lee Thomas when they host Bath in the EDF Energy Cup clash on Friday night.
Thomas will be out of action for up to three months after he dislocated his shoulder during Sale's Heineken Cup win over Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.
Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre is also without injured duo Sebastien Bruno and Sean Cox for the Edgeley Park showdown.
However, the home side are boosted by the return of Charlie Hodgson at fly-half.
Mark Cueto retains his place on the wing, in a team blending youth with experience. On the flank, Scotland's Jason White is a starter, and the dangerous Rory Lamont is on the bench.
Commenting on his selection Saint Andre said: "I have selected the team, blending youth with experience.
"The team that played against Cardiff three weeks ago was unlucky to lose and several of those players who played in that game are included again tomorrow.
"After losing the last two home games we need to get into the winning habit at Edgeley Park."
For Bath, a rest period for Butch James and injury to Michael Claassens means Jack Cuthbert steps back into the fold as kicker and he will be joined by Rugby League convert Shontayne Hape and young winger Rhys Crane in the back line.
Head coach Steve Meehan is confident that Bath have an opportunity to grab a victory at Edgeley Park, having failed to do so last season.
"What I want to see is an understanding of what makes Bath a good team to play for and in," Meehan said.
"I want those guys who have not had so much of an opportunity so far this season to put pressure on those who have been starting many games.
"We need that as a squad. We need people to give the selectors some headaches week in and week out.
"We will therefore be expecting good performances all round and if we have a nice, fine day and we can play some running rugby, I think it will suit our game I'm sure."
Sale:15 Nick MacLeod, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Nick Royle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Chris Leck; 1 Rob O'Donnell, 2 Marc Jones, 3 Martin Halsall, 4 Dean Schofield, 5 Brent Cockbain, 6 Jason White, 7 David Tait, 8 Carl Fearns.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Stuart Turner, 18 James Gaskell, 19 Michael Hills, 20 Will Cliff, 21 Rudi Keil, 22 Rory Lamont.
Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Rhys Crane, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 9 Scott Bemand , 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Michael Lipman (c), 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Stuart Hooper, 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 David Barnes.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paulica Ion, 18 Nathan Catt, 19 Scott Hobson, 20 James Scaysbrook, 21 Mike Baxter, 22 Robbie Kydd.