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Preview: Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks

Preview: Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks may be one of the form teams in Aviva Premiership Rugby right now but according to Worcester hooker Niall Annett, the Warriors are confident of beating any team in the land at Sixways.

The Sharks have won their last six matches in all competitions – their best run since 2007, with their only defeat in their last four away games coming at Exeter on Boxing Day.

More worryingly for Worcester is the Sharks have not conceded a single try in an away game in 2016 – but despite the impressive statistics Annett is not worried.

In the reverse Worcester Warriors only two victories in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season were at home to Northampton in round one and at home to Newcastle in round four.

They have produced a string of impressive performances – notably they narrowly lost to Bath Rugby 16-14 last weekend – but the wins have not followed. 

But as they prepare to host Sale Sharks this weekend, Annett is confident of producing a result.

“Sale is a great team with some very good players,” he said. “It’s difficult to say where they have any weaknesses but we need to focus on the areas in which we are strong.

“They have got a good set piece and a very good No.10 in Danny Cipriani, he’s very important to them. 

“It’s a testament to the rugby that they have been playing that they are where they are in the table. But we will go into the match confident in our ability.

“It’s the old cliché but we do love to play at home and we love to put on a show for the fans.

“In the time that I’ve been here, they’ve been fantastic and always show their support. We just want to win games of rugby for them now.”

The Sharks have won their last seven fixtures against Warriors in all tournaments since Worcester's 23-16 victory at Sixways in October 2012.

Preparations for the fixture at Sixways have not been helped by news this week star playmaker Danny Cipriani will be leaving Sale at the end of the season and heading to former club Wasps. 

Boss Steve Diamond revealed the search for a replacement fly-half is well under way following Cipriani's decision.

Diamond said: "There is no point wasting anybody's time by negotiating and chatting to people until you have got a decision and now we have got that, the relevant agents around the world have been contacted and we will see what comes up.

"Unfortunately we don't have anybody that is ready in the Academy, so our first port of call will be to look around England. Then if we cannot find anybody then we will look elsewhere, because we need a top class number 10 that can fill the void.

"This year we are in a position where we have got a really good coaching set up behind the scenes, we need someone who can kick their goals and we need someone who can distribute.”

Sixways, 3pm

Referee: Greg Garner (92nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell & Jonathan Healy. TMO: David Grashoff/David Rose

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