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Thingimubob
03-10-08, 10:57 PM
Sale Sharks vs Cardiff Blues (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/7643099.stm)



<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Sale give full-back Nick McLeod his full debut, against his former club, in the EDF Energy Cup tie.

Andy Tuilagi is also handed his full debut while on-loan Fylde winger Nick Royle is on the replacements bench.

Blues number eight Xavier Rush, scrum-half Jason Spice and prop Gethin Jenkins are out because of injury.

But star flanker Martyn Williams returns ahead of schedule, while Mark Lewis comes in for Rush and Richie Rees replaces Spice.

Hooker Gareth Williams returns on the bench after his deep cut healed as Jamie Robinson again starts ahead of Tom Shanklin at outside centre.

Ross Johnson, Rhys Williams and Sam Warburton remain on the Blues&#39; long-term injury list.



Sale have only lost one of their last seven at Edgeley Park, and all three previous encounters between the two sides have gone the way of the home team. The Blues have lost their last two games away from home, but the Sharks have gone down in three of their last four encounters with Welsh opposition.

The Cardiff-based region can boast two previous EDF wins in England, and are boosted by Friday&#39;s crushing 58-0 Magners League victory over Connacht at the Arms Park.

"There are some huge tests to come, but it&#39;s nice to go into the big EDF and European games with a bit of confidence from that result," said director of rugby Dai Young.

Sale: McLeod; Kuadey, Keil, A Tuilagi, Ripol; Wigglesworth, Leck; Faure, M Jones, Halsall, C Jones, Cockbain, White (capt), D Tait, Fearns.
Replacements: O&#39;Donnell, Davies, Gaskell, A Shaw, J Kennedy, Royle, Cliff.

Blues: Blair; Halfpenny, J Robinson, Roberts, G Thomas; Sweeney, Rees; Yapp, T R Thomas, Filise, Davies, Tito (capt), A Powell, M Williams, Lewis. Replacements: G Powell, G Williams, Jones, Sowden-Taylor, Allinson, N Robinson, Shanklin.[/b]

a pretty strong Blues team, especially with Martyn Williams returning earlier than expecting against what looks like a decent Sale pack, and pretty much a second choice back line. As a Blues fan I had a little sigh of relief when I saw that McAlister isn&#39;t playing, but I;m kinda disapointed at the same time because I;d like to see the Blues show they can compete against the best in the world. Should be an interesting match, and fi teh Blues forwards front up they can get a win, though I only wish Molitika was playing.

Sir Speedy
03-10-08, 11:01 PM
I also took a sigh of relief when I saw McAlister wasn&#39;t playing - same for a number of our players who&#39;ve played non-stop since day 1. The last thing we need is a few injuries in a nothing game before going into the Heineken Cup...
Though I&#39;ll admit, watching Roberts take on McAlister would have been interesting. :P
I predict the Blues will win aswell; narrowly, though...

cyRil
04-10-08, 09:08 AM
If the Blues don&#39;t **** on them there&#39;s something wrong. ;)
Nice to see Ross Davies on the bench, former Neath player doing us proud! :D

cyRil
04-10-08, 05:27 PM
Told you they&#39;d stuff em. :P

Thingimubob
04-10-08, 07:12 PM
:P if you call 17 - 18 a stuffing...
glad they won, just wonder if they should have had a bigger win though, considering it was a second string Sale team. Still, guess it goes to show what kind of strength in depth Sale have. Just hope Cardiff will take confidence from this into next weeks away tie with Calvinsano - and even more importantly, the match against Gloucester in the Millenium Stadium.

cyRil
04-10-08, 10:27 PM
Can&#39;t wait for that! 10 a ticket, can&#39;t go wrong. Landed that match and Ospreys/Perpignan are on different days so I can catch an early morning train back to the Diff for the game at the Mill! :D :D