Alex Sanderson has made four changes to the Sale starting line-up for his first match at Sharks boss when they take on Leicester on Friday night at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. Sale’s last outing was the January 8 Gallagher Premiership win over Worcester at the AJ Bell.
Paul Deacon was caretaker coach at the time following the December departure of Steve Diamond, but Sanderson has since arrived at the club as their new director of rugby after earning his stripes with a decade-plus stint as a Saracens assistant coach.
Luke James comes in for Robert du Preez, Byron McGuigan for Tom Roebuck, Will-Griff John for Coenie Oosthuizen and Sam Dugdale for England pick Tom Curry as Sale look to start the new Sanderson era off on the right note.
Sanderson said: “Steve Borthwick is getting the Tigers back to where they used to be and they are becoming extremely difficult to beat and without a shadow of a doubt, it’s going to be a physical encounter on Friday.
“We need to make sure we match the overall intensity that Leicester have been showing over 80 minutes recently, they compete at every opportunity and we need to be prepared for that.”
And it's not just size.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 22, 2021
Sale are currently in fourth position on the table after four wins in six, enough for a 19-point tally that has them just five points behind leaders Bristol.
SALE (vs Leicester, Friday)
15. Luke James, 14. Byron McGuigan, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Faf de Klerk; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Will-Griff John, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jean-Pierre du Preez, 6. Jono Ross (Captain), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Josh Beaumont. Reps: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. James Phillips, 20. Cameron Nield, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Robert du Preez, 23. Tom Roebuck.
"I'm ready to walk through a wall now myself"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 19, 2021
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