What’s that coming over the hill, is it a Munster? Sale’s Diamond relishes ‘whipping boys’ tag for Euro clash

Sale Sharks start their European Champions Cup campaign this Saturday when they welcome Irish powerhouse side Munster to the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale have suffered a poor start to the season currently being in 10th place having won only two of their first six matches while twice European champions Munster have also had a mixed start having won four of their first six.

Sale are going into the game as huge underdogs and director of rugby Steve Diamond is embracing the tag.

“Munster will be looking at us as the whipping boys and that’s exactly how I want it,” he told the official European Champions Cup website.

“In these first six league games, we have lost to Gloucester at Kingsholm and away at Saracens and Northampton Saints and there are some big sides with huge budgets.”

It will be first time the sides have met since January 2009 with Munster winning three out of the previous four matches.

Saracens and ASM Clermont Auvergne make up the group and neither side will be wanting to drop points if they want to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.

Sale’s Michael Paterson is hoping for the side to give their all in such a tough group.

“It’s a tough ask, the pool. The pool of death or pool of doom, whatever they’re calling it. We just have to do our jobs right and put in a performance we’re proud of,” Paterson told Premiership Rugby’s official website.

The Salford based side welcome back Sammy Tuitupou for the first time this season following an ankle injury the 30-year-old suffered during pre-season.

However there is no place for Mark Cueto who returned from injury last week in Sales demolition at the hands of Northampton Saints.

Sale team to play Munster: Mike Haley, Tom Brady, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Tom Arscott, Danny Cipriani, Chris Cusiter, Eifion Lewis Roberts, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas, Jonathan Mills, Michael Paterson, Magnus Lund, David Seymour (captain), Mark Easter.

Replacements: Shalva Mamukashvili, Ross Harrison, Alberto de Marchi, Andrei Ostrikov, Josh Beaumont, Will Cliff, Joe Ford, Mark Jennings.

Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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