Sale Sharks have named their side to face Worcester Warriors in Wednesday’s rearranged Gallagher Premiership match. Following a confirmed 19 positive Covid-19 cases at the club last week, Steve Diamond’s squad options were in short supply. 

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There are seven changes from the starting XV that won at Northampton last week, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Manu Tuilagi (injured), Simon Hammersley, Faf de Klerk, Curtis Langdon, Coenie Oosthuizen and Cobus Wiese all missing out.

Akker van der Merwe, Jake Cooper-Woolley and James Phillips, who all came off the bench at Franklin’s Gardens, are also unavailable.  

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However, the club claim they will field a covid-compliant matchday squad for the re-arranged fixture against Worcester. Valery Morozov, Cameron Neild and Ross Harrison will make up the front row, with Morozov making the switch to tighthead prop for the first time since joining the club.

Jean-Luc du Preez and Matt Postlethwaite combine to form the lock partnership, with Jono Ross, Tom Curry and Daniel du Preez making up the back row. 

Will Cliff and Robert du Preez link up in the half-back roles and they will be joined in the backline by Sam Hill and Sam James, who take their places in the midfield after combining for 60 minutes at Franklin’s Gardens following Tuilagi’s early injury in that game. Marland Yarde, Denny Solomona and Luke James complete the backline.

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The Sale selection remains subject to the entire squad undergoing further Covid-19 testing on Tuesday. A club statement said: “If the club feels it is not safe to play or receive one additional positive test, Sale will forfeit their Gallagher Premiership round 22 match with Worcester Warriors in order to ensure the health and safety of all concerned.”

Worcester have made one change from the XV selected for last Sunday’s originally scheduled fixture. Sam Lewis will start on the openside flank in place of Matt Kvesic who has been ruled out by a sore achilles tendon. Matti Williams takes Kvesic’s place on the bench.

The Worcester team announcement media release stated: “A number of Covid-related health and safety matters have yet to be resolved and the fixture still requires the approval of Premiership Rugby, the RFU and Public Health England.”

SALE: 15. Luke James, 14. Denny Solomona, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Will Cliff; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Cameron Neild, 3. Valerey Morozov, 4. Matt Postlethwaite, 5. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Jono Ross (Capt.), 7. Tom Curry, 8. Daniel du Preez. Reps: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Cal Ford, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Ewan Murphy, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Joe Bedlow, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Connor Doherty.

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WORCESTER: 15. Chris Pennell; 14. Melani Nanai, 13. Ollie Lawrence, 12. Scott van Breda, 11. Noah Heward; 10. Billy Searle, 9. Francois Hougaard; 1. Ethan Waller, 2. Beck Cutting, 3. Richard Palframan, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Andrew Kitchener, 6. Ted Hill (capt), 7. Sam Lewis, 8. Marco Mama. Reps: 16. Niall Annett, 17. Callum Black, 18. Joe Morris, 19. Joe Batley, 20. Matti Williams, 21. Tom Dodd, 22. Gareth Simpson, 23. Jamie Shillcock.

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