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Sale recall Tuilagi, Curry while Harlequins include Smith to start

By Liam Heagney

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Sale versus Harlequins is primed to be a Friday night blockbuster after the Sharks included Lions back-rower Tom Curry and midfielder Manu Tuilagi in their starting XV to take on defending champions Harlequins, who have included rising star Marcus Smith at out-half following his swashbuckling exploits off the bench.  

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Alex Sanderson has made a total of seven changes to his starting line-up following the Sale defeat at Gloucester. That includes the return of Bevan Rodd at loosehead and Cobus Wiese in the second row.

Harlequins, meanwhile, have made three changes following their comeback win over Bristol, Smith, James Chisholm and Luke Northmore all included to start on this occasion.

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Scrum coach Adam Jones said: “It’s great to see James back fit and starting this week after a bit of an injury-hit start to his season. Marcus was obviously great off the bench last week and Luke is always a strong performer whenever he pulls on the jersey.

“We have probably started the week with a bit more bounce in our steps off the back of such a great occasion at The Stoop last week, but Sale are a strong team and were semi-finalists last year,” continued the Harlequins assistant.

“They are a big, heavy, aggressive forward pack with a good set-piece. They can play a bit of ball when they need to. It’s a tough place to go as a pack, but we know if we impose ourselves on them, we can challenge them with the way we play.”

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SALE: 15. Simon Hammersley; 14. Denny Solomona, 13. Sam James, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Byron McGuigan; 10. Kieran Wilkinson, 9. Raffi Quirke; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Curtis Langdon, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Jono Ross (capt), 7. Tom Curry, 8. Daniel du Preez. Reps:16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Oosthuizen, 19. JP du Preez, 20. Cameron Nield, 21. Gus Warr, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Luke James.

HARLEQUINS: 15. Tyrone Green; 14. Joe Marchant, 13. Luke Northmore, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Cadan Murley; 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Simon Kerrod, 4. Matt Symons, 5. Dino Lamb, 6. James Chisholm, 7. Jack Kenningham, 8. Alex Dombrandt (capt). Reps: 16. Sam Riley, 17. Fin Baxter, 18. Will Collier, 19. Hugh Tizard, 20. Tom Lawday, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Huw Jones, 23. Louis Lynagh.

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Sale recall Tuilagi, Curry while Harlequins include Smith to start

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