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Controversial Solomona set for baptism of fire on Sale bow

Sale Sharks will parade new signing Denny Solomona on Sunday when they look to halt Saracens' march towards equalling a European rugby record.

Super League club Castleford this week responded to Sale's signing of the winger by issuing High Court proceedings for damages against Solomona.

Castleford are also seeking damages against Sale and Solomona's agent Andy Clarke for allegedly inducing a breach of contract.

Sale confirmed on Tuesday that prolfic try-scorer Solomona had signed a three-year contract with them, despite still having two years left on his Tigers deal.

And it could prove a baptism of fire for him in the European Champions Cup as Sale host a Saracens side currently clear as Pool Three leaders and needing one more win to equal Munster's record of 13 successive European victories.

Saracens destroyed Sale 50-3 at Allianz Park last weekend and, although the Sharks have home advantage this time around, it promises to be another considerable challenge.

"Saracens showed what a great team they have when they beat us last weekend," Sale rugby director Steve Diamond said.

"But we didn't play well, and you can't afford one yellow card, let alone three, if you are going to challenge them.

"It has been a tough week on the training field this week.

"We have some big games coming up, starting with Saracens. The lads are hurting at the moment and wanting to get back to the way we all know they can perform."

If Saracens win - and the Scarlets beat French heavyweights Toulon in west Wales on Sunday - then the reigning European champions will have one foot in the quarter-finals.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has made five changes from the side beaten in Toulon last weekend, including starts for props Rob Evans and Samson Lee, plus back-row pair Aaron Shingler and Will Boyde.

Pivac said: "We know what is ahead of us. You don't get to play these sides that often, and when you do it's a great challenge. The players love these fixtures.

"To have a side like Toulon at home is going to be great. We would like to right the wrongs of last week.

"At times, I felt we were unlucky in that game. We know what to expect now. For us, it's about getting a good start, not lagging behind like we did out there.

"If we get a good start, I think the self-belief will be there and it could be a hell of a day at the office. We are looking forward to it.

"It is an exciting challenge. The players are looking forward to it because they get to test themselves against some of the best players in the world that they don't get to play against that often."

Elsewhere on Sunday, Pool Five leaders Clermont Auvergne have a chance to avenge last week's defeat in a thriller against Ulster when they host the 1999 European champions, while victory for Montpellier in Castres would keep pressure on their fellow Pool Four contenders Leinster.


From Belfast Telegraph