Curry and James return for Sale

Curry and James return for Sale

Tom Curry and Luke James are named in a matchday squad for the first time this season while Manu Tuilagi misses out through injury (hamstring) as Alex Sanderson makes two changes to his starting XV for the play-off semi-final against Bath (3.30pm KO, Saturday 1st June). 

Sam James replaces Tuilagi as Alex’s men go in search of a win at The Rec that will take them to a second successive Premiership final. 

The Sharks Director of Rugby has picked an all-homegrown front-row with props Bevan Rodd and James Harper packing down either side of hooker Tommy Taylor

In the second-row, Cobus Wiese and Hyron Andrews team up again, while in the back-row Sam Dugdale, who won player of the match last time out in the win at Saracens, and captain Ben Curry are joined by JL du Preez at number 8. 

Scrum-half Gus Warr and George Ford combine once again at half-back and they’ll have Rob du Preez and Sam James outside them in the centres. Wingers Tom O’Flaherty and Tom Roebuck and full-back Joe Carpenter make up the rest of the XV. 

On the replacements bench, Alex has gone for 6/2 forwards/backs split as hooker Agustin Creevy is joined by props Si McIntyre and WillGriff John. Ben Bamber, Ernst van Rhyn and Tom Curry make up the rest of the forwards replacements, while Luke James and scrum-half Raffi Quirke cover the backs. 

Speaking in his pre-match media briefing, Alex said: “The place has been buzzing and selection has been a right headache. We’re in good form and I’d rather have form than a home semi-final.  

“The last game against Bath (22-42 loss in March 2024) was probably a catalyst for the good end of season form. Post that game, the players took more on themselves. That game forced us to the table and meant that we had to win every game to make the top four. 

“The standards the players have set themselves over the past five weeks have got us to where we are today.” 

Sale Sharks Starting XV:   

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Rob du Preez, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr, 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. James Harper, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Hyron Andrews, 6. Ben Curry ©, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. JL du Preez.   


16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Si McIntyre, 18. WillGriff John, 19. Ben Bamber, 20. Ernst van Rhyn, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Tom Curry. 

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