TOP BAR - Fixtures

Sale make eight changes for Lyon clash

Sale make eight changes for Lyon clash

Sale Sharks make eight changes to their Starting XV for their European Challenge Cup Pool 2 game against Lyon at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday, kick off 3.00pm.

Mike Haley, Marland Yarde and Will Cliff are the changes in the backs, with Will Addison moving infield to Outside Centre and Sam James replacing the injured AJ MacGinty at 10.

In the pack, James Flynn, Marc Jones and Halani Aulika make up the front row, George Nott moves into the second row and Dave Seymour gets his first club start of the season at 7.

Team: 15. Mike Haley; 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Will Addison, 12. Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 11. Denny Solomona; 10. Sam James, 9. Will Cliff; 1.James Flynn, 2. Marc Jones, 3. Halani Aulika, 4. George Nott, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Cameron Neild, 7. David Seymour, 8. Jono Ross.

Replacements: 16. Rob Webber, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Alexandru Tarus, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Matt Postlethwaite, 22. Josh Charnley, 23. Mark Jennings

Looking ahead to Saturday, Sharks’ attack coach Paul Deacon said, “First and foremost we’ve got to be on it physically this weekend. French teams are always big and always confrontational so we’ve to match that – especially at the breakdown.

“There’s probably a shift in mentality needed from us there as the French game is a bit different from us in that regard and we’ve got to be crash-hot in that area.

“But I believe if we get that bit right this week and get some quick-ball we can cause some damage to the opposition.”

Director of Rugby Steve Diamond added, “I’m sure a lot of our supporters will also be pleased to see former Sale favourite Sebastien Bruno, who provided such sterling service to the club between 2004 and 2009, and who is now a key part of Lyon’s coaching set-up.

In addition to his coaching duties with Lyon, Sebastien was recently confirmed as part of the French national side’s new-look coaching team ahead of the Six Nations and I know that he will receive a warm welcome on his return to Manchester.

“Reflecting on our first four games in the European Challenge Cup, I think we have played well in the competition without necessarily getting the wins that our form has merited.

“That said, I think all four teams in our pool still have everything to play for going into this penultimate round of matches. As we start the weekend, Cardiff are in top spot while just two points separate ourselves from Toulouse and Lyon in the chasing pack.

“So this promises to be a pivotal weekend in determining who tops the group and so earns a ticket through to the quarter-finals.”

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