In this weeks edition of Tykes Talk Phil Davies looks ahead to the Tykes trip to Sale Sharks this Saturday, kick off 2.45pm
I was obviously disappointed last week with our performance against Harlequins. It fell well below the standards we have set ourselves but the players have been honest this week and have come back with the right attitude. How they respond to last week will be the true test of this side and I am sure we will get the right answers. Perhaps the performance was such a shock to people last week because it was so out of character for this group of players.
Alan Dickens is ruled out with a hand injury so Ryan Walker comes back in and Stuart Hooper swaps places with Scott Morgan but other than that we will go with the same starting line up as last week and I know the players are keen to get back out on the field and turn last weeks performance around. They have trained well this week and hopefully we can put that behind us now.
We will be in for an extremely tough test against Sale this week and they will be boosted by the return from injury of Charlie Hodgson. We are yet to beat the Sharks in all the meetings between us so they hold the upper hand there. We know that our discipline will have to be exceptional on Saturday. In Braam van Straaten they have the best goal kicker in the world and he can kick goals from anywhere on the field within 60 metres of the posts.
Braam was excellent for us in his two seasons here and it will be good to meet up with him again after the game. We are still reaping the benefits of Braam's spell with us, his experience at the highest level was vital for us in our first two years and he has passed that onto our set up. We hope that Andre Snyman will be able to perform a similar role when he arrives.
Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond are two of the most highly respected coaches in the game. I have admired them for a number of years but our players who toured under them with England to Canada and Japan this summer were also full of praise and they will be desperate to get the Sharks to pick up their first win at their new home so we must make sure we perform to the best of our ability.
One of the toughest elements of the Zurich Premiership is that you can never have an off day. We did last week and we were punished and we now need to make sure that we put that right this week.
REES SET TO FACE OLD BOYS BUT DICKENS MISSES OUT
David Rees will come up against his former club on Saturday when the Tykes travel to Sale. Rees played for the Cheshire club between 1995 and 1999 making 45 starts and three appearances as a replacement, scoring 11 tries. Another former Shark Alan Dickens misses out on the trip after suffering a suspected broken bone in his hand. Ryan Walker moves from the bench to the starting line up whilst Scott Morgan comes into the second row for Stuart Hooper, otherwise the side is unchanged to that which lost to Harlequins last week.
Argentinean winger Diego Albanese has not returned in time from the World Cup to figure in this weeks squad however Aaron Persico continues to learn about his new team mates as a replacement and there is a welcome return for scrum half Clive Stuart-Smith who has been out since suffering a knee injury on his debut in the opening game of the season against Bath. The former Gloucester scrum half returns to the bench after missing the last seven games.
The team in full is:
15. Dan Scarbrough14. David Rees 13. Tristan Davies12. Liam Botham11. Phil Christophers10. Duncan Hodge9. Ryan Walker
1. Mike Shelley (c)2. Rob Rawlinson3. Gary Powell4. Phil Murphy5. Scott Morgan6. Matt Salter7. James Ponton8. Dan Hyde
16. Matt Holt17. Simon Halford18. Stuart Hooper19. Aaron Persico20. Clive Stuart Smith21. Matt Cardey22. Tim Walsh