Sale v Worcester - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 28/12/12 7:32pm
Danny Cipriani returns to the Sale Sharks starting line-up against Worcester Warriors as the rock-bottom Aviva Premiership side aim to climb the table on Friday night.
Cipriani was heavily criticised by director of rugby John Mitchell and owner Brian Kennedy for his poor defence and was consequently dropped following the 62-0 defeat to Toulon, but returns after Nick Macleod picked up an injury.
Tom Brady is back on the wing for his first start since the win over London Irish in November. Alasdair Dickinson has recovered from his shoulder problems and is on the bench as are Dwayne Peel and Cameron Shepherd.
Meanwhile, centre Alex Grove is all set to hit a century of appearances for the Warriors in the clash.
Scotland international Grove, who made his club debut in December 2006 against Newport Gwent Dragons and has scored 21 tries in his Sixways career, will become a Worcester centurion as he is named in an unchanged starting line-up by head coach Richard Hill.
Hill makes just one change to his bench with prop Rob O'Donnell named among the replacements.
Lock James Percival will skipper the Warriors alongside Chris Jones in the second row, with Jones returning to his former club. Dean Schofield could also make an appearance against his old club after being named on the bench.
Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 James Doyle, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Cameron Shepherd.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke.
What they said...
Worcester Warriors Head Coach Richard Hill
"We know how hard a game this will be and I am surprised where Sale are in the league with the squad they have got.
"You look at the Sale line-up and they have got some real stars. They have undoubted star quality and if they gel they are a very good team, on their day they can beat anyone. At the moment that has not happened, but I am sure they are working hard at it.
"I have watched them play the last few games and every time you hear from their coaches the name Worcester has been mentioned. They have looked at this game as one they have got to win to get themselves out of trouble.
"There is no doubt they will have targeted us. The teams at the bottom will keep their powder dry for certain games and they will go for teams in the bottom six.
"We want to continue our good run of form over recent weeks and finish 2012 on a high."
Sale Sharks captain Dave Seymour
"The buzzword can be momentum. It's amazing how after two or three wins, you can be in a completely different place.
"That's a massive thing and we need to get a hold of that by getting a massive result this week, the following week and the week after that. If so, things start moving on pretty quickly.
"Everyone needs to step up really and give 100 per cent. "You look to your senior guys to help get you through. We're lucky - people like Mark Cueto, Dwayne Peel and Nick Macleod- we're the senior guys to rely on."
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Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins