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Sharks expect tough Tigers test

Leicester have lost Manu Tuilagi for six weeks to add to their troubles but Sale boss Steve Diamond will not be taking the Tigers lightly on Friday night.

Diamond is not convinced by the Aviva Premiership table, which shows Leicester last-but-one, with only Newcastle Falcons beneath them. Sale are third, with four wins from six outings, but Diamond believes Leicester are a stronger side than their recent poor league form has demonstrated.

Sale were beaten at home by Harlequins last Friday in the LV= Cup, and Diamond said: "We've had some good sessions this week, working on several issues raised by last week's game. The match against Leicester will be very tough, probably our hardest task of the season. We can't wait."

Tuilagi is set to be out of rugby action until December.

The World Cup ended on a sour note for the 20-year-old when he was ticked off by police and fined by England team chiefs for jumping off a ferry in Auckland harbour, and then his return to domestic rugby also resulted in bitter disappointment.

The exciting young centre broke a cheekbone in a collision with Scott Lawson during last Friday's home victory over Gloucester in the LV= Cup.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Manu suffered a broken cheekbone after a clash of heads in the Gloucester game and we'll be without him for about six weeks.

"Anthony Allen has had an operation on his thumb after an injury in an accident at home.

"We're having a terrible run of luck, especially with Mathew Tait's groin injury and Billy Twelvetrees out with an ankle injury. But we knew we would need the whole squad to front up if we were going to push on this season."

Leicester hooker George Chuter is set to make his 250th appearance in Tigers colours, and Tom Croft plays his 100th match for the club.

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