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Tom Curry returns to Sale Sharks for trip to Bristol

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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British & Irish Lions backrow Tom Curry returns to action for Sale Sharks, the first time he’s played since being injured in the Heineken Champions Cup in early December.

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It’s one change that Alex Sanderson has made as his side face Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate in round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership.

Curry replaced brother Ben in the backrow. The youngest England debutant since Jonny Wilkinson tweaked his back playing against the Ospreys in Europe, an injury Sanderson described at the time as a case of ‘old man’s back’.

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Jono Ross skippers the side from the blindside flank, and with Curry slotting in at openside. Daniel du Preez completes the Sharks pack at No.8.

Meanwhile Max Lahiff returns to the starting line-up for the Bristol Bears. The prop is one of three changes to the side that recorded a losing bonus point last weekend versus Exeter Chiefs.

Henry Purdy is the only change to the backline, while John Hawkins comes into the second row.

SALE SHARKS: 15. Luke James, 14. Byron McGuigan, 13. Robert du Preez, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Will Cliff; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Ewan Ashman, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Jean-Luc du Preez, 5. Lood de Jager, 6. Jono Ross (C), 7. Tom Curry, 8. Daniel du Preez

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REPLACEMENTS: 16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Jean-Pierre du Preez, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Gus Warr, 22. Sam James, 23. Simon Hammersley

BRISTOL BEARS: 15. Luke Morahan, 14. Ioan Lloyd, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Henry Purdy, 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Max Lahiff, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Joe Joyce (c), 5. John Hawkins, 6. Chris Vui, 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Fitz Harding

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Will Capon, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. John Afoa, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Piers O’Conor, 23. Jack Bates.

Kick-off at Ashton Gate is at 7.45 on Friday night UK time.

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Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Jamie Leahy
TMO: Tom Foley
Citing Officer: James Hall

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