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Manu Tuilagi-less Sale change two, name Tom Curry on a six/two bench

By Liam Heagney
England's Tom Curry is set to make his Sale comeback (Photo by Julian Finney/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Sale boss Alex Sanderson has made two changes to his Gallagher Premiership semi-final line-up, with Manu Tuilagi and Luke Cowan-Dickie both absent following the round 18 win at Saracens. But Tom Curry is set to play for the first time since October after he was named on a bench that has a six/two forwards/backs split.

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Tuilagi limped out of the action at StoneX Stadium 18 minutes into the 20-10 win that qualified the Manchester club for the play-offs for the third time in four seasons.

Sanderson reported last Tuesday that the Bayonne-bound midfielder was busy on the training ground trying to mend his damaged hamstring in the hope that he might be available to try and help his team reach a second successive Premiership final, but he won’t be involved away at Bath.

Sam James, another stalwart who is leaving at the end of the season, has instead been promoted from the bench to start with Luke James filling the bench vacancy.

Cowan-Dickie, meanwhile, played 51 minutes in London the last day and wasn’t known to be an injury doubt, but he won’t face Bath as Tommy Taylor will be the starting hooker with the soon-to-depart veteran Agustin Creevy providing cover as a replacement.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Bath
31 - 23
Full-time
Sale
All Stats and Data

That a bench that includes Curry, who hasn’t played any rugby since helping England to their third-place finish at the Rugby World Cup last October.

The back-rower seized up on the club’s training ground a few weeks after his return from France 2023 and his hip issue required the operation that has sidelined him until now.

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Sale (vs Bath, Saturday): 15. Joe Carpenter; 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Rob du Preez, 11. Tom O’Flaherty; 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. James Harper, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Hyron Andrews, 6. Ben Curry capt, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. JL du Preez. Reps: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Si McIntyre, 18. WillGriff John, 19. Ben Bamber, 20. Ernst van Rhyn, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Tom Curry.

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