Match Preview: Sale Sharks V Gloucester Rugby

Match Preview: Sale Sharks V Gloucester Rugby

Sale Sharks welcome back their Rugby World Cup stars for Friday night's Gallagher Premiership Rugby clash with Gloucester Rugby.

Prop Bevan Rodd and fly-half George Ford both come straight into the team, while hooker Agustin Creevy makes his debut.

Club captain Ben Curry also features in a matchday squad for the first time since he injured his hamstring in last season’s play-off semi-final against Leicester Tigers.

For Gloucester Rugby, a familiar face returns to league action for the first time in over a year in the centre.

Mark Atkinson suffered a significant knee injury against Bath in October 2022, his last Gallagher Premiership Rugby match.

TV: Live on TNT Sports, 7.45pm kick-off

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe (24th game)

Assistant Referees: George Selwood and Neil Chivers

TMO: Dean Richards

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 15. Sam James, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez ©, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Arron Reed, 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Agustin Creevy, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Ernst van Rhyn, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Dan du Preez.   

Replacements: 16. Nathan Langdon, 17. Si McIntyre, 18. James Harper, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Nye Thomas, 22. Alex Wills, 23. Tom Ellis.   

Gloucester Rugby Starting XV | 15 Jake Morris, 14 Jack Reeves, 13 Chris Harris (c), 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Alex Hearle, 10 George Barton, 9 Charlie Chapman, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 4 Freddie Thomas, 5 Arthur Clark, 6 Albert Tuisue, 7 Ben Donnell, 8 Jack Clement

Replacements | 16 Santi Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Harry Taylor, 21 Micky Young, 22 Max Llewellyn, 23 Josh Hathaway


Sale Sharks

  • In the first three matches of the season, Rob du Preez has assisted one try and eight breaks - more than any other player.
  • Sale Sharks have the highest rate of tackle dominance in the Premiership (8.9%). Ernst van Rhyn has made more dominant tackles than any other player in the league (nine).
  • Sale have made more contestable kicks in play than any other team (28), retaining a leaguehigh 15.
  • The Sharks have averaged the fewest points per 22 entry in the league so far this season (2.0). They have either scored a try or been awarded a penalty during 52% of their visits to the red zone – poorer than all but two teams.

Gloucester Rugby

  • Gloucester have beaten more defenders than any other Premiership team (75). Zach Mercer has beaten 20 alone – eight more than any other player in the league.
  • Gloucester have the best tackle success rate in the league (84.9%). However, they have the second-lowest rate of tackle dominance (1.4%).
  • Gloucester have the highest rate of carry dominance in the league (31.2%) and have averaged the most post-contact metres per carry (1.18).
  • Gloucester have made fewer kicks in play than any other team this season, an average of 27 per 80 minutes. They have made an average of 53.7 fewer kicking metres than any other team per 80 minutes.

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