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Preview: Sale Sharks v Saracens

Preview: Sale Sharks v Saracens

Sale Sharks may be hosting table-topping Saracens on Saturday but they remain the only side yet to lose a home match in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

The last time Steve Diamond’s side tasted defeat at the AJ Bell Stadium in any competition was when Harlequins were the visitors last April.

They did, however, see a six-game winning run come to a halt last time out, when Sale travelled to Worcester Warriors and suffered a 31-23 defeat.

They managed to pick up a bonus point, though – David Seymour and Tommy Taylor each crossed over before Mike Haley grabbed a pair of tries – and flanker Cameron Neild in eager to take some momentum into a massive clash with Saracens.

“Obviously all the boys are disappointed with the result against Worcester,” said Neild. 

“We were gutted to lose but we came in Monday morning, licked our wounds and we'll come back fighting at Saracens.

“They are top of the table, well organised and a great team. They are missing a few players though and hopefully we'll be able to sting them at the AJ Bell Stadium this Saturday.”

On current form, Sale are among the best teams in Aviva Premiership Rugby, having taken 18 points from their last six games – but Saracens can match that tally.

Mark McCall’s side have also lost just once on their travels in any competition since April, when they visited Harlequins on January 9 and lost 29-23.

As for previous meetings between Saracens and the Sharks, Sale have won just one of the last seven in all competitions – 14-10 at AJ Bell Stadium in this equivalent fixture last year.

Director of rugby Diamond knows the challenge the visitors will present but with Saracens short of a handful of internationals this weekend – they boast seven in England’s match day 23 alone – he believes there is an opportunity.

“There's an advantage playing Saracens this weekend, as they're missing some players but they're still a very deep squad,” said Diamond.

“Plus, the same squad that will travel here, will be the same team that put Gloucester away with 14 men, so they're a very good outfit. We've got to be at our very best to get something from the game.”

Sale Sharks v Saracens (AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm)
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (102nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Matthew O’Grady & Simon McConnell. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

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