Sale Sharks travel to Kingsholm tonight to face 10th placed Gloucester and will be hoping to improve on last weekend’s home draw to claim their first win on the road.
The Manchester side failed to cross Newcastle’s tryline at the AJ Bell on Saturday but Gloucester haven’t scored a try in their last 180 minutes of rugby.
David Seymour will return to the Sharks bench and is raring to get some game time after his last appearance brought Sale better fortune as he scored in a bonus-point win over Worcester.
“I am hoping to be involved against Gloucester, with a bit of luck I will be, it should be a good match,” said Seymour, who has missed the last five games.
“It has been difficult not being involved but the boys have done well, the Newcastle and Quins games were frustrating but overall I think it has been good.
“The weekend was a tough match against a good Newcastle side in difficult conditions, but we probably should have come away with the four points.”
During the 31-year-old’s absence, TJ Ioane has played at flanker alongside captain Dan Braid and Seymour has paid testament to the Samoan’s performances.
“TJ has been outstanding, his ball carrying is brilliant as he showed in the World Cup.
“Ball carrying is his number one ability, every time he takes it forward he gets gain line.”
The second most capped Sharks player said his side are keen to get something out of the Gloucester match after feeling disappointed with the Newcastle result.
“We have done well at Gloucester over the last few years. Last year we were in front and somehow let it go. We know it is going to be a very tough game especially with it being on the Friday night.
“They have great support down there and our travelling support is always outstanding so it should be good.
“It is a good place to go when you are playing well and we are going there to try and win the game.”
TJ Ioane has been making the most of Seymour’s absence to establish himself as the Sharks’ first-choice number seven, a position that is relatively new to him.
“It’s been interesting to play in the seven role, it’s been a whole new thing,” he told MM.
“Dave Seymour went down as our seven and I think Maggie (Magnus Lund) might have been injured that week which gave me an opportunity to play seven as Josh Beaumont and Dan Braid have eight and six.
“So I thought, if anything, if I can really hone down on my defence and change my role up a little bit I might go alright there by just playing my game.”
The Samoan giant said that rugby nowadays is less about the number on your back and more about being able to do everything.
“It’s only set pieces where we do different jobs otherwise everyone has to line up in both our defensive and attacking systems.
“It’s been good to learn from Braid, Seymour and Maggie, they’re all sevens I think, so if I struggle I can easily go to any of those three and ask for advice.
“Plus they’re always talking on the field so it doesn’t seem like I’m specifically playing seven anyway, and they’re all awesome on the ball which is similar to what sevens do anyway, so we end up playing side to side which is good.”
Ioane added that he was happy with game time, regardless of the number on his back.
“I think for any player just playing is the main focus. For now wherever the team thinks I fit best then I’ll roll with that.
“Braidy is an awesome six so it’s hard to push him, Beauy’s been playing awesome, so to be honest whoever misses out is pretty unlucky.
“You always want to be out there but regardless of who’s playing they’ll always put their best foot forward.
“It’s good competition and I think that’s sign of real growth in our loose trio at the Sharks.”
Beaumont, Peter Stringer and Nev Edwards come into the side, in the place of Magnus Lund, Chris Cusiter and Tom Arscott respectively.
Sale Sharks: 15. Mike Haley, 14. Nev Edwards, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Tuitupou, 11. Will Addison 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Peter Stringer, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Vadim Cobilas, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Jonathan Mills, 6. Dan Braid (capt.), 7. TJ Ioane, 8. Josh Beaumont
Replacements: 16. Neil Briggs, 17. Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18. Brian Mujati, 19. Andrei Ostrikov, 20. David Seymour, 21. Chris Cusiter, 22. Joe Ford, 23. Mark Jennings
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.