Premiership Rugby – Preview Round 17 (Saturday)


Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears, Saturday 29 August (AJ Bell Stadium, 3pm) Live on BT Sport 2 and Channel 5

Sale Sharks recorded their first win since the return to rugby at Wasps on Tuesday. The Sharks lost their most recent encounter at AJ Bell Stadium, to Exeter Chiefs, but have been defeated in back-to-back Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches at the venue since their reversals to Exeter and today’s opponents Bristol in December 2016 to January 2017.

Bristol Bears’ seven-game winning run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their narrow defeat to Exeter on Tuesday. The Bears are unbeaten in their last four away games in all tournaments since tripping up at Leicester in round eight of Premiership Rugby. Bristol beat Sale 16-10 at Ashton Gate in round 3 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the northerners since 2006-07. Bristol have visited AJ Bell Stadium twice before winning on New Year’s Day 2017 and losing there in December 2018.

Sale Sharks: 15. Luke James, 14. Denny Solomona, 13. Sam James, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Ben Curry (captain), 6. Tom Curry, 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Jean-Luc du Preez, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 1. Ross Harrison. Replacements: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Valerey Morozov, 18. Will-Griff John, 19. Matt Postlethwaite, 20. Jono Ross, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 2.3 Arron Reed.

Bristol Bears: 15. Max Malins, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Siale Piutau (captain), 11. Jack Bates, 10. Tiff Eden, 9. Andy Uren, 8 Ben Earl, 7. Jake Heenan, 6. James Dun, 5. Joe Joyce, 4. Ed Holmes, 3. Yann Thomas, 2. Will Capon, 1. Jake Woolmore.
Replacements: 16. George Kloska, 17. Peter McCabe, 18. Kieron Assiratti, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Mitch Eadie, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Charlie Powell.