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Premiership Rugby

Van Straaten comes to Sharks’ rescue

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The timing could not have been better for an injury-ravaged Sharks side who drew their opening game against Northampton and lost by a point to Newcastle Falcons last week.

It is fair to say that Sale have not had the rub of the green so far.

Centre Jos Baxendell – who had been filling the fly-half berth in the absence of the injured Charlie Hodgson and Van Straaten – will be sidelined for up to six weeks with a broken kneecap sustained in the Falcons game.

Centre Dan Harris will undergo an operation on a damaged shoulder early next week and will be out of action for about five months and skipper Pete Anglesea faces a similarly lengthy lay-off as he needs surgery on a knee injury.

"These injuries are a terrible blow to the individuals concerned and to us as a club," said coach Jim Mallinder.

"We are still waiting for Charlie Hodgson to recover his fitness so it is fortunate that Braam has been declared fit to play at fly-half."

The front row shows two changes with Matt Cairns taking over from Andy Titterrell at hooker and Stuart Turner starting at tight-head in place of Barry Stewart.

With Bryan Redpath having proved his fitness to Scotland coach Ian McGeechan he is no longer available for club selection and Richard Wigglsesworth will start at scrum-half.

Nick Walshe will be on the bench after coming through a second string game at Worcester on Tuesday after also missing the start of the season due to injury.

Sale Sharks: 15 Vaughan Going, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 James Hoyle, 12 Graeme Bond, 11 Steve Hanley, 10 Braam van Straaten, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Stuart Pinkerton, 7 Phil Davies, 6 Alex Sanderson (captain), 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Stuart Turner, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Andrew Sheridan.Replacements: Andy Titterrell, Barry Stewart, Iain Fullarton, Christian Day, Magnus Lund, Chris Mayor, Nick Walshe.

Kick-off: 19.45 (18.45 GMT)

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