HUDDERSFIELD V SALE - MATCH PREVIEW

Published: 23/02/2018

Coach Gareth Lewis makes four changes in the pack and one among the backs as Huddersfield RU take on National 11 North leaders Sale at Lockwood Park.

After a tremendous first half of the season, Field have gone off the boil a little with four defeats in their last five outings.

Powerful table-toppers Sale have lost only twice all campaign and present a massive challenge, but Lewis says it’s a free hit for his seventh-placed side.

“This is a one-off game - a game to test ourselves against the best,” said Lewis, who is without injured fly half Harry Davey (back).


“It’s been a good season so far but we must not forget where we have come from and what has served us well.

“The lads can’t wait to have a crack at this one and are going to enjoy themselves.

“In a week when Wigan Athletic have beaten Manchester City, it goes to show anything can happen in sport.”

Skipper Alex Battye, Ben Morrill, experienced Adam Blades and Ben Hoyle are all recalled to the starting pack, replacing Callum Thompson, Francis Entressengle, Reuben Pollard and Lewis Bradley respectively.

Winger Elliot Knight goes into the starting line-up for Danny Grainger while Will Milner, who has been back in training this week, wins a place on the bench.

Sam Allan continues at fly half alongside scrum half Joel Hinchliffe, who makes his 200th appearance.

Sale FC have a proud history. They were founded in 1861 and are the world’s fifth oldest club. They have been based at their fine Heywood Road ground since 1905.

Since the establishment of Sale Sharks in the professional era, Sale FC have had to rise through the leagues as a ‘new club’.

They arrived at Level 4 as champions of National 3 North in 2015 having achieved three consecutive championships in the lower divisions between 2003 and 2006 and another in 2012.

They won the Cheshire Bowl in 2012, The Vase in 2013 and The Cup in 2014, a trophy which they won 17 times towards the end of the last century.

In the days before professionalism, many international players represented the team. Fran Cotton, Dewi Morris and Jason Robinson are three of the more recent ones.

Prop Lawrence Sanderson and fly half Chris Johnson are two former Huddersfield players who have gone on to play at Sale after their time with the Lockwood Park club.

The club motto is ‘Three Centuries, Two Millennia, One Club’. They run a second team, an Academy and they have a thriving Age Grade.

Training and games take place at their state of the art Carrington Road facility where the Sharks train.

Last season they finished second in North 2 but missed out on a place in National 1 when they lost to Old Elthamians from the South in the runners-up play-off match.

Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Brandon Conway, Mark Pease, Tom Owen, Elliot Knight, Sam Allan, Joel Hinchliffe, Alex Battye, Ben Morrill, Adam Blades, Austen Thompson, Adam Malthouse, Nick Sharpe, Ben Hoyle, Richard Piper. Replacements: Callum Thompson, Lewis Bradley, Reuben Pollard, Will Milner, Dan Nota.

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