‘Momentum’ key as Sale Sharks prepare for Gloucester test, says Steve Diamond

Sale Sharks will be hoping to win consecutive games at home tomorrow night when they face high-scoring Gloucester Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Dan Mugford will be hoping to produce another match-winning performance after he contributed 14 points to the Sharks’ 19-10 victory against Harlequins last week.

Although confidence is high in the Sale camp after recovering from their opening day 19-17 defeat at Newcastle, they will be up against the only team that beat them on their own patch last season.

Coach Steve Diamond recognises that Gloucester will provide a difficult task for his men. 

“I think we just need some momentum,” he said.

“We’ve got Gloucester coming who are a really good attacking side who have scored 50 points already this year.

“They are a good attacking side under David Humphreys, and if we are not at our best we won’t win the game.”

Despite the attacking prowess of Gloucester, their defensive frailties have cost them so far this season, with an opening fixture defeat of 38-31 to Leicester, and then drawing 23-23 against Worcester last Friday.

Sale are expected to make one change from last week with Cameron Neild coming in to replace the injured TJ Ioane at flanker.

Neild played 78 minutes last week after the injury to TJ Ioane, and was only second in the league to Exeter Chiefs’ Thomas Waldrom on the ball-carries chart with 23.

Peter Stringer is set to make his first appearance of the season if his services are called upon from the bench.

Squad: 15. Byron McGuigan, 14. Will Addison. 13. Sam James, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Paolo Odogwu, 10. Dan Mugford, 9. Mike Phillips, 1. Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2. Neil Briggs, 3. Halani Aulika, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Jonathan Mills, 6. Cameron Neild, 7. David Seymour, 8. Josh Beaumont (capt.)

Replacements: 16. Ross Harrison, 17. Kieran Longbottom, 18. Andrei Ostrikov, 19. Magnus Lund, 20. Laurence Pearce, 21. Peter Stringer, 22. Nev Edwards, 23. Sam Bedlow

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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