Redpath demands Sale improvement

PA Sport
Richie Vernon returns up front for Sale's clash with Leicester
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Richie Vernon returns up front for Sale's clash with Leicester

Sale Sharks will bid to erase the memory of an "unacceptable" performance when they resume Aviva Premiership business at Salford City Stadium on Friday night.

Sale, bottom of the table three points behind 11th-placed London Irish, have lost all five league games this term and collected just one point. And life is not about to get any easier, with Leicester next up in Sharks' final fixture before a two-week domestic break for European competitions.

"Our last home performance was unacceptable," said Sale rugby director Bryan Redpath, recalling a 29-19 defeat against newly-promoted London Welsh two weeks ago.

"In some ways, we improved last weekend (against Bath) but still lost the game. We are against a formidable side in Leicester, so we've got to restore some pride and play with plenty of passion. Our challenge on Friday is to be at our best."

Redpath makes three changes from the 31-10 Bath loss, with suspended wing Tom Brady being replaced by Will Addison and Scotland international forwards Richie Gray and Richie Vernon both returning up front.

Leicester are lifted by the return of scrum-half Ben Youngs, who makes his first appearance since suffering a shoulder injury during England's summer tour to South Africa.

Youngs will be partnered at half-back by George Ford - Toby Flood drops to the bench - with centre Manu Tuilagi also back from injury in a team that sees former London Irish flanker Richard Thorpe making his Tigers debut.

Leicester have suffered just one Premiership away defeat during the last 12 months and won their last five games against Sale.

"The attitude and the application of the squad was first-class last week against Exeter, especially with the late problems with injuries and illness which could have disrupted us," Tigers rugby director Richard Cockerill said.

"We've made a reasonable start to the season, but it is important to keep that going and focus on our own game. We've got a good squad, and all of the players will have their opportunities."

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