Sale Sharks team to face Northampton Saints
For tomorrow’s Anglo-Welsh Cup tie against Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium (kick off 2.00pm), scrum-half Faf De Klerk returns to a Sharks squad which includes 11 players who were in the starting team at Toulouse last Saturday.
There are five full internationals in the XV, from five different countries if winger Josh Charnley’s England honours in the thirteen-man code are included. The others are De Klerk (South Africa), Evans (New Zealand), Ioane (Samoa) and Tarus (Romania).
There’s a starting debut for the highly talented 18-year old fly half Kieran Wilkinson, whilst his versatile Academy team mate Cameron Redpath (also 18) is on the bench. Youth is represented by thirteen others aged 25 or under – Haley (23), Addison (25), James (18), Odogwu (20), Flynn (24), John (25), Beaumont (25), Neild (23), Moore (19), Langdon (20), Pope (20), Postlethwaite (21) and Nott (21).
Team: 15. Mike Haley; 14. Josh Charnley, 13. Will Addison (captain), 12.Luke James, 11. Paolo Odogwu; 10. Kieran Wilkinson, 9. Faf De Klerk; 1. James Flynn, 2. Marc Jones, 3. WillGriff John, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. TJ Ioane, 7. Cameron Neild, 8. Sam Moore
Replacements: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Jake Pope, 18. Alexandru Tarus, 19. Matt Postlethwaite, 20. David Seymour, 21. George Nott, 22. Will Cliff, 23. Cameron Redpath.
Sharks’ defence coach Mike Forshaw, in tandem with Academy coach Neil Briggs and specialist scrum coach Dan Richmond, will oversee preparations for both this weekend’s match and next Friday’s visit to Scarlets.
As well as looking to build on the club’s opening two wins in the competition, Mike says the message to the players will be to build on the impressive form and consistency that has been the hallmark of the team for the past few months.
“What I want to stress to the players is that we need to maintain the momentum going in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, be it in our defence, our work-rate and commitment,” said ‘Forsh’.
“Those are key habits that I want us to keep hold of as we go forward.
“The Anglo-Welsh Cup is a really important competition to us. If you look at someone like WillGriff John, he hasn’t looked back since he started at Worcester in this competition back in November.
“We’ve also got to hang on to that winning mentality at home. In the Premiership you have got to win your home games to keep out of that twitchy area, as it is so hard to win away.
“If you are not one of the big hefty top four sides, it’s very hard to win away as there are so many good teams and there is pressure on every team when they are at home.
“So for us maintaining momentum and winning at home are huge.”
Please remember, Kick Off is 2.00pm