Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Newport Gwent Dragons in their crucial European Challenge Cup game at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday night (kick off 7.45pm).
Josh Beaumont captains the side once again, as Steve Diamond makes four changes to the side that beat Pau last Friday night, with Peter Stringer, Sam James, Eifion Lewis-Roberts & Brian Mujati coming in to the side. Johnny Leota will be making his 100th appearance for the side.
Sale Sharks: 15. Mike Haley, 14. Will Addison, 13. Sam James, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Nev Edwards, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Peter Stringer, 1. Eifion Lewis Roberts, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Brian Mujati, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Cameron Neild, 7. Magnus Lund, 8. Josh Beaumont (capt.)
Replacements: 16. Neil Briggs, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Vadim Cobilas, 19. Jonathan Mills, 20. Mark Easter, 21. James Mitchell, 22. Joe Ford, 23. Mark Jennings
Speaking ahead of the game, Steve Diamond said: “We know that the Dragons have been the most consistent side of the group, and they are similar to us in their style of rugby. They are abrasive, so we’ve got to put in a good performance and win, and if we do that we get a home quarter final."
Josh Beaumont says there is an excitement around Carrington this week, as Sale Sharks get ready for their game against Newport Gwent Dragons on Thursday night at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Beaumont captained the side for the first time in their victory on Friday night, and is relishing the big game against the Welsh side.
He said: “It’s a huge game, there is certainly a feeling around the training ground this week and it is going to be a winner takes all.
“It is probably our biggest game of the season because it would be quite an achievement to come out of that group as winners and get a home quarter final.”
Beaumont says he’s focusing more on the team rather than individuals within the Dragons side, with a potential head to head clash against counterpart Toby Faletau: “I’m not really thinking of Faletau, obviously you want to get the upper hand against your opposite man, because that will help the team overall, but the most important thing is doing a job for the team.”
He says that it would be huge for the club to qualify and secure a home quarter final: “It would be massive to get one, all rugby players want to win in everything they do. It is obviously a must for us so we are just looking forward to it.
“We want as many fans down as possible because it certainly makes a difference like it did against Wasps, those extra fans at the stadium lifts our performance.”