Harlequins vs Sale, Friday 19:45
After the total tonking of the touring comedy troupe that was Gloucester last week, Sale take their notoriously abysmal away form to The Stoop to face the magnificently inconsistent Quins. Both teams have lost two our of five matches so far this season, but the home side have not registered in win in their last two. Given current form and playing resources this should be a Sale win, however Sale have only won away once – at the incomparably poor Bristol last October – in the past 18 months. Their away form is not so much a monkey on their back, more an angry chimp that shits all over everything they hold dear then rubs it into the white carpet and this fixture is the one time they can and should sort this out.
In AJ MacGinty and Faf De Klerk the visitors have one of the best half-back pairings in the league and should stamp their greater experience on the much-hyped Marcus Smith. This plus the finishing class of Denny Solomona and the disruptive lineout presence of Bryn Evans to cause even greater issue to Dave Ward’s incredible gyroscopic throwing arm should be enough to see Sale win.
But they probably won’t. Because it’s away. And it’s Sale.
Harlequins: Morris; Yarde, Marchant, Roberts, Visser; Smith, Care; Marler, Ward, Collier, Merrick, Horwill (capt), Robshaw, Clifford, Luamanu.
Replacements: Elia, Lambert, Swainston, Matthews, Glynn, Lewis, Swiel, Alofa.
Sale Sharks: Haley; Solomona, James, Jennings, McGuigan; MacGinty, de Klerk; Harrison, Jones, Tarus, Evans, Beaumont, Ross (capt), B Curry, Strauss.
Replacements: Webber, Flynn, Aulika, Ostrikov, Ioane, Neild, Cliff, O’Connor.
See how well we’re doing in the LeoVegas Punters’ Union rugby betting league at puntersunion.leovegas.com. We’re going head-to-head with other UK rugby titles this season to see who can win the most rugby bets and finish top in May! Who are you betting on this weekend?