sport

Fourie set for home Sale debut

Hendre Fourie will make his home debut for Sale Sharks in Saturday's LV= Cup showdown with Scarlets at Edgeley Park.

The match has seen its kick-off time revised to 3pm due to weather conditions in the North West of England.

Alongside Fourie, club captain Sam Tuitupou returns, whilst former Scarlet Dwayne Peel could be in opposition to fly-half Aled Thomas, partner of his sister Yana.

The line-up is subject to change, depending on the degree of involvement of the Sharks' players named in England Saxons and U20 squads.

"On the back of the disappointing second half at Newcastle last Sunday, our focus this week has been to return to the standards we've set ourselves," said Sharks head coach Tony Hanks.

"We never like losing, and it's important that we respond in a positive manner. We have a lot of respect for the Scarlets, who are a fantastic team."

The pitch has been protected under heated covers since Tuesday and the club are confident it will go ahead with a spokesperson stating: "Barring an avalanche, we're guaranteed to play."

Meanwhile, the Scarlets travel to Sale this weekend for the final round of pool matches with three wins from three in their campaign so far.

Sitting at the top of Pool 3 with 14 points, they will be looking to make it a clean run in the competition and with victory on Saturday the chance of a home semi-final at Parc y Scarlets as one of the top two best performing teams in the Anglo Welsh competition.

The Welsh region welcome back a number of their international stars who have been released by Wales and have an impressive array of talent at their disposal.

Stephen Jones, Liam Williams, Aaron Shingler, Lou Reed and Rhodri Jones all return to their home region for the fixture and join the Scarlets bench for the crucial LV=Cup fixture.

Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half with the centre partnership of Scarlets skipper Gareth Maule and Adam Warren united once again, with Aled Thomas in the pivotal role of outside half and pace on both wings from Andy Fenby and last weekend's try scorer and man of the match, Vili Iongi.

In the forwards, Sione Timani and Damian Welch return to the second row and the Scarlets field an unchanged back row of Mat Gilbert, Johnathan Edwards and Kieran Murphy.

"This is a very important game for us - we've gained momentum in recent weeks and last weekend was a big result for the players who put in a committed performance against a full strength London Irish side," said Head of Scarlets Rugby, Nigel Davies.

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou (capt), 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Onosa'i Auva'a, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Vadim Cobilas.

Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Lee Imiolek, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Tommy Taylor, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Viliami Iongi, 13 Gareth Maule (capt), 12 Adam Warren, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Mat Gilbert, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Craig Hawkins, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Liam Williams.