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Ben Curry returns for Sale after a 25-week absence while Jacques du Toit handed first Bath start

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Getty Images)

Ben Curry is poised for a return to action on Friday night with Sale at Bath 25 weeks after damaging his shoulder at Newcastle in the opening round of this season’s Gallagher Premiership. The 22-year-old twin brother of new Lions selection Tom, Ben has been chosen on the Sharks bench as Alex Sanderson’s side seeks to consolidate its push for the end-of-season playoffs.  


Towering second row Jean-Pierre du Preez replaces Josh Beaumont and joins James Phillips to form a heavyweight lock partnership. That duo is the only change to the starting pack following last weekend’s win over Leicester, with the return of Simon Hammersley the sole backline change.

Hosts Bath, meanwhile, will fill the void left by Tom Dunn’s latest red card suspension by handing Jacques du Toit his first Premiership start following two appearances off the bench. 

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Jeremy Guscott guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson
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Jeremy Guscott guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson

Prop Henry Thomas joins du Toit in the front row, replacing the injured Will Stuart at tighthead, while Charlie Ewels returns as captain in the second row alongside Will Spencer. Back row duo Sam Underhill and Zach Mercer come back in at openside flanker and Number 8 respectively to complete the pack changes.

Bath will also field fresh half-backs, Rhys Priestland lining up outside scrum-half Will Chudley. On the bench, academy graduate Tom Doughty will make his first Premiership appearance should he get a run.



BATH: 15. Tom de Glanville; 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Max Clark, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Will Muir; 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Will Chudley; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Jacques du Toit, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Will Spencer, 5. Charlie Ewels )capt), 6. Josh Bayliss, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer. Reps: 16. Tom Doughty, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Josh McNally, 20. Taulupe Faletau, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Orlando Bailey, 23. Joe Cokanasiga. 

SALE: 15. Simon Hammersley; 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. Coenie Oosthuizen, 4. James Phillips, 5. Jean-Pierre du Preez, 6. Cobus Wiese, 7. Tom Curry (capt) 8. Jean-Luc du Preez. Reps: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. James Harper, 19. Cameron Neild, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Kieran Wilkinson, 23. Connor Doherty. 


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