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No place for Chris Ashton as Leicester, Sale name semi-final teams

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

Thursday evening’s disciplinary hearing reprieve for the red-carded Chris Ashton has come too late for the all-time record Gallagher Premiership try-scorer to keep his place in the Leicester team for Sunday’s semi-final away to Sale.


It took a five-hour hearing for Ashton’s sending-off last weekend versus Harlequins to be downgraded to a yellow carded offence, freeing him for selection for Tigers’ trip to Manchester.

However, Richard Wigglesworth has decided to exclude Ashton from a Leicester XV that shows four changes from the match against Harlequins, three in the back line.

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England winger Anthony Watson takes over from Ashton on the right wing, current Test full-back Freddie Steward is named in place of Mike Brown while Scotland’s Matt Scott is chosen ahead of the benched Guy Porter at outside centre.

Wigglesworth has made just a single change to his starting Leicester pack, George Martin chosen at lock ahead of Harry Wells. For Sale, the selection approach was different as four of their five changes following their win over Newcastle have come in the pack.


Their entire front row has been rejigged with Simon McIntyre, Akker van der Merwe and Nick Schonert named in place of benched trio Bevan Rodd, Ewan Ashman and Coenie Oosthuizen, while England back-rower Tom Curry is chosen instead of Sam Dugdale. Out the back, the sole alteration sees Gus Warr restored as the starting scrum-half in place of Raffi Quirke.

SALE: 15. Joe Carpenter; 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Arron Reed; 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Jean-Luc du Preez, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Tom Curry, 7. Ben Curry (capt), 8. Jono Ross. Reps: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Bevan Rodd, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Daniel du Preez, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Sam James, 23. Tom O’Flaherty.


LEICESTER: 15. Freddie Steward; 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Dan Kelly, 11. Harry Potter; 10. Handre Pollard, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Tom West, 2. Julian Montoya (capt), 3. Dan Cole, 4. George Martin, 5. Cameron Henderson, 6. Hanro Liebenberg, 7. Tommy Reffell, 8. Jasper Wiese. Reps: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. James Cronin, 18. Joe Heyes, 19. Harry Wells, 20. Olly Cracknell, 21. Jack van Poortvliet, 22. Jimmy Gopperth, 23. Guy Porter.


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