Sale Sharks WILL host Worcester Warriors tomorrow evening despite 19 positive Covid-19 cases, as they announce their starting 15 and squad for the contest.
This comes the day after the RFU launched an investigation into Sale after 19 positive tests were confirmed at the club.
The rearranged game is now set to take place tomorrow night and that looks even more likely now Sale have announced a full squad of players who are Covid negative after further testing.
"We have followed every single protocol. There is no breach of protocol done deliberately."
What exactly has happened at Sale Sharks? How have things got so bad?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 4, 2020
This is vital news to the club and its fans as a win in their final Gallagher Premiership game tomorrow evening will see the Sharks make the playoffs ahead of Bath.
If they were unable to play the game due to the club’s Covid outbreak then they would be forced to forfeit the match and that would see the Warriors win 20-0.
Sale responded in a club statement yesterday evening to allegations that the players held a party following the Premiership Rugby Cup Final victory last month.
They stated: “Following an internal investigation, Sale Sharks refute all recent allegations made in the national press and by other leading figures from Premiership Rugby clubs, regarding Sale Sharks players being in central Manchester or on university campuses following the Premiership Rugby Cup final on Monday 21st September.”
Despite their Covid-hit squad, Sale have still been able to announce a strong starting 15 for their game on Wednesday, with many regular first-team names on the teamsheet.
— Sale Sharks🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) October 6, 2020
Sale’s front row is makeshift from their usual first-choice options as Valery Morozov, Cameron Neild, and Ross Harrison all start for this vital clash at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Its a more familiar back row of Jono Ross, Tom Curry, and Daniel du Preez all bringing quality and experience to Sale’s side.
Sale explain in the match preview on their website why their half-backs are strong for the all-important fixture tomorrow night.
“Will Cliff and Robert Du Preez link up in the half back roles, the trusted pair know each other well after a string of solid performances together throughout early stages of the 19/20 season gave the Sharks a platform for success.
“Cliff and Springbok du Preez are joined in the back line by Sam Hill and Sam James, who take their places in midfield after combining for 60 minutes during the Sharks’ clash with Northampton Saints last Tuesday.
“Marland Yarde, Denny Solomona and Luke James complete an exciting backline for Wednesday night’s match.”
The final piece of team news from the Sharks is: “Jean-Luc du Preez and Matt Postlethwaite combine to form a powerful lock partnership for tomorrow’s match.”
It’s been a successful season for Sale and their Premiership Rugby Cup final victory last month against Harlequins further highlighted the clubs’ progression under sporting director Steve Diamond.
They now have a trophy to their name under Diamond’s reign and a win tomorrow evening gives them a chance of winning another big piece of silverware to end an impressive campaign and put this Covid controversy behind them.