Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Young wary of struggling Sale

Dai Young is fully aware of struggling Sale's threat

Wasps boss Dai Young does not subscribe to the theory that Sale Sharks are down and out in this season's Aviva Premiership.

Young's team host Sale on Sunday and they will be firm favourites to compound their misery. While Wasps are unbeaten on home soil this season, Sale have won a solitary Premiership game and are currently six points adrift at the bottom of the table. Their latest result was a 62-0 Heineken Cup drubbing by French heavyweights Toulon.

But Young insists he is taking little notice of what has been a difficult campaign for the current favourites for relegation. "I think, if anything, their loss last weekend in France will make them a bit more determined," Young said.

"They are going to be a bit of a wounded animal, and those sides are always very dangerous. I thought for 30 minutes they did okay last weekend, and let's be honest, there are very few teams who are going to push Toulon away from home.

"I am certainly not reading too much into it. We expect Sale to come desperate for a win. They totally outplayed us last year, both home and away, so I am sure they feel that they can come and do a job here. Things can change very quickly.

"I personally believe that they have got too many quality players to not put a few wins together shortly. We are just hoping that we get ourselves right and that doesn't start this weekend."

Wasps captain and full-back Hugo Southwell is back in action as one of six changes from the Amlin Challenge Cup success against Bayonne eight days ago.

Top try-scorer Tom Varndell misses out, though, because of a foot injury, so Elliot Daly moves to the wing, while returning forwards include hooker Rhys Thomas and England second-row star Joe Launchbury.

Sale, eager to recover quickly from that Toulon result, welcome back hooker Marc Jones for his first start since early September, while Sam Tuitupou and Jonny Leota are reunited in midfield and Nick Macleod features at fly-half instead of Danny Cipriani.

Cipriani might have been expected to feature against his former club, but the ex-England number 10 does not even figure on the replacements' bench.

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