Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has named an impressive side to take on Newcastle Falcons tomorrow evening at Kingston Park in their vital opening clash.
The side includes six players making their starting debuts for the Sharks. AJ MacGinty, Byron McGuigan, Halani Aulika, Mike Phillips, Laurence Pearce and Rob Webber all start, with Dan Mugford and Kieran Longbottom on the bench. Captain Josh Beaumont starts at blindside flanker.
Josh says:”On a team level we have to go for the win. Its vital that we get off to a good start early in the season. On a personal level – I can’t wait. It’s been a frustrating time for me with the injury, but that’s all behind me and I’m raring to go.”
Sale Sharks team : 15. Byron McGuigan, 14. Will Addison, 13. Sam James, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Nev Edwards, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Mike Phillips, 1. Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Halani Aulika, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Josh Beaumont (c), 7. TJ Ioane, 8. Laurence Pearce
Replacements: 16. Neil Briggs, 17. James Flynn, 18. Kieran Longbottom, 19. Jonathan Mills, 20. Magnus Lund, 21. David Seymour, 22. James Mitchell, 23. Dan Mugford
Ahead of the game, Diamond said: “Getting a good start in the Premiership is crucial to all 12 teams. We have to respect Newcastle as they will be looking for a win in front of their own fans. There are no easy games in the Premiership these days, but we’re confident heading to Kingston Park and starting our season off on a high.”