Amlin Challenge Cup: Sale v Worcester Warriors preview
Last Updated: 10/01/14 9:22am
There's an all-Premiership clash on Friday's Challenge Cup fixture card as Sale Sharks welcome Worcester Warriors to Greater Manchester.
Josh Watkins will make his Warriors debut, with the 19-year-old winger among 11 changes Director of Rugby Dean Ryan makes to the starting team that played London Irish last weekend.
Fellow academy youngsters Ben Howard and Max Stelling will both feature in the side after signing first-team contracts for next season earlier this week.
Josh Matavesi and Jonny Arr, who both came on as replacements last weekend, return to the starting line-up after spells on the sidelines with injury.
The forward pack sees a reshuffle with Jeremy Becasseau, Ed Shervington and John Andress named in the front-row.
Dean Schofield, who will captain the side, is recalled to the second-row alongside Mike Williams, while Chris Jones is given a starting berth in the back-row.
Opportunity for youngsters
"The Challenge Cup is an opportunity for some of the youngsters to get involved. We've done that right from the first game and we will do that again over this period," said Ryan.
"We'll look to utilise these guys again over the next three or four weeks to see if they have grown from their experiences.
"Sometimes growing youngsters can be difficult because sometimes they get thrust in and it's difficult to learn, especially in an environment that isn't as successful as we would like it to be."
Meanwhile, Sale name a strong line-up that includes fly-half Danny Cipriani in the pivot position; keen to boost his chances of England involvement in the coming months.
Cipriani is partnered by Welsh scrum-half Dwayne Peel, who announced earlier this week he is to leave the club at the end of the season to link up with Andy Robinson at Bristol.
Powerful ex-All Black Sam Tuitupou is named at inside centre, with another former New Zealand international - Dan Braid - skippering the side from the blindside flank.
Sale Sharks: 15 Miller, 14 Brady, 13 Leota, 12 Tuitupou, 11 Cueto, 10 Cipriani, 9 Peel; 1 Lewis-Roberts, 2 Jones, 3 Thomas, 4 Mills, 5 Paterson, 6 Braid, 7 Seymour, 8 Gaskell.
Replacements: 16 Taylor, 17 Harrison, 18 Cobilas, 19 Ostrikov, 20 Easter, 21 Cliff, 22 MacLeod, 23 Arscott.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Howard, 14 Drauniniu, 13 Stelling, 12 Matavesi, 11 Watkins, 10 Warwick, 9 Arr, 1 Becasseau, 2 Shervington, 3 Andress, 4 Schofield (c), 5 Williams, 6 Jones, 7 De Carpentier, 8 Senatore.
Replacements: 16 Seymour, 17 Porter, 18 O'Donnell, 19 Percival, 20 Betty, 21 Hodgson, 22 Mieres, 23 Fatiaki.
Amlin Challenge Cup week five 2013/14
Sale boosted their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup with a 21-3 triumph over Worcester.
London Irish know only a bonus-point victory will do against Lusitanos as they look to keep pace with Stade Francais.
Wasps face a crunch Amlin Challenge Cup fixture at Bayonne as the two top teams in Pool 4 go head-to-head.