England centre Manu Tuilagi is back in Sale Sharks’ squad for their crucial Premiership clash with Saracens at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.
Tuilagi makes the replacements bench for the game after his latest spell out.
In the XV, Bevan Rodd, Ewan Ashman and Coenie Oosthuizen form the front-row, with South African pair Cobus Wiese and Lood de Jager the locks.
Jono Ross is captain
Jono Ross captains the side on the blindside flank and is joined in Sale‘s back-row by openside flanker Ben Curry and number eight Daniel du Preez.
World Cup winner Faf de Klerk will start at scrum-half and is named alongside compatriot Robert du Preez at fly-half in the absence of AJ MacGinty.
Elsewhere, Rohan Janse van Rensburg keeps his spot at inside centre and is paired with Sam James in the midfield. James dons the 13 shirt and will act as a second distribution option in the Sharks backline, with in-form speedsters Arron Reed and Tom Roebuck featuring in Sale’s back three alongside full-back Luke James.
On the bench, Akker van der Merwe and Nick Schonert make their long awaited returns as they join Simon McIntyre as front-row options for the game. Second-row Jean-Pierre du Preez and the versatile Tommy Taylor offer further cover for the forwards.
England internationals Raffi Quirke and Tuilagi are named alongside try-scoring supremo Jack Metcalf as backline replacements.
Meanwhile, Saracens have made three changes to their starting team as Owen Farrell drops out of the matchday squad altogether in Salford on Friday.
Aled Davies stays at scrum-half after an energetic display a week ago, and he is joined by Farrell’s replacement, Alex Goode, as the half-back pairing.
Tompkins and Alex Lozowski continue in the centres while in the back-three Max Malins joins Sean Maitland and full-back Elliot Daly in the line-up.
Up front, Eroni Mawi is back at loosehead prop alongside Jamie George, who captains the team at hooker. Vincent Koch completes Sarries’ front-row.
Nick Isiekwe and Tim Swinson are the locks, with Maro Itoje moving to blindside flanker where he joins Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola in the back-row.
Form: Sale Sharks’ last four matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have ended in one win, one defeat and two draws. The Sharks are unbeaten in their last seven Premiership Rugby matches at AJ Bell Stadium, whilst their only defeat there in the tournament in the last twelve months was to Exeter on 3 October. Saracens have lost just one of their last six Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches: 30-32 at London Irish on 19 February. Saracens won their most recent away game in Premiership Rugby 36-21 at Newcastle on 12 March. The last five fixtures between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have all gone the way of home field advantage whilst Saracens most recent success at AJ Bell Stadium was 13-3 in February 2018.
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Arron Reed, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Ewan Ashman 1 Bevan Rodd
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Tommy Taylor, 21 Raffi Quirke, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 Jack Metcalf
Saracens: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Max Malins, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Theo McFarland, 20 Andy Christie, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Alex Lewington
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales, Paul Dix
TMO: Stuart Terheege
READ MORE: Premiership: Anthony Watson linked with Leicester
The article Premiership: Manu Tuilagi returns for Sale Sharks against Owen Farrell-less Saracens appeared first on Planetrugby.