Sam James Returns for Sale Sharks

Sam James Returns for Sale Sharks

Tom Roebuck will make his 50th appearance for Sale while Sam James returns to the team after missing out against Exeter as Alex Sanderson makes just one change to his starting XV to face league leaders Saracens at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday (KO 3pm, live on BT Sport and ITV).

With George Ford away on England duty, James snr starts at outside centre, meaning a return to fly-half for Rob du Preez, while younger brother Luke is back on a strong replacements bench that also features fit-again Tommy Taylor.

Sharks Director of Rugby Sanderson retains the same starting front row that played at Exeter last week, with Bevan Rodd joining Ewan Ashman and Coenie Oosthuizen.

Cobus Wiese and Jonny Hill will renew their formidable partnership in the second-row and with Ben Curry on England duty, in-form Sam Dugdale retains his starting spot at openside flanker in an unchanged back row alongside Jono Ross and Jean-Luc du Preez.

Scrum-half Gus Warr starts his 10th consecutive Premiership game and he will reignite his partnership with the Premiership’s top points scorer, Rob du Preez, who is back in the number 10 shirt.

Ryan Mills retains his starting spot at 12 and he’ll partner Sam James in the centres.

And in an unchanged back three, Sharks’ top try scorer Roebuck will line up alongside fellow speedsters Tom O’Flaherty and Joe Carpenter.

Tommy Taylor returns to take his place on the bench alongside Nick Schonert, who missed out last week with a back injury. Simon McIntyre completes the front row replacements.

Alex Groves will make his Premiership debut if he comes off the bench, while club stalwart Josh Beaumont can take another step to 200 Sharks appearances.

Luke James returns to a league matchday squad for the first time since playing Bath, and he’s joined in the backs replacements by Raffi Quirke and Arron Reed.

Sale Sharks starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 10. Rob du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Ewan Ashman, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Jono Ross ©, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez.


16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Nick Schonert, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Josh Beaumont, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed.

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