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Redpath tells Sale to ignore table

Bryan Redpath has underlined that Sale Sharks' league position cannot be a distraction when they resume Aviva Premiership business at Worcester on Friday night.

Sale head to Sixways eight points adrift of 11th-placed London Irish, having lost their opening six league games. It represents the worst start by any team to a Premiership season since Rotherham's search for a first league success lasted 12 matches nine years ago.

"It's a massive match for us, and we've got make sure that we are focused on the game, not on the table," Sharks rugby director Redpath said.

"Our emphasis is to be very disciplined and be clear about our game plan. Away matches like this are tough, and Friday evening will be a massive challenge for us."

Worcester are back in Premiership action following an astounding blitz of scoring 175 points in two Amlin Challenge Cup games, when Gernika and Rovigo were their hapless victims.

"The games in Europe give you the chance to see which players will respond and put their hands up for selection," Warriors head coach Richard Hill said. "There are changes this week, and it is only fair if players have worked hard that they are given a chance."

Gloucester, unbeaten in the Premiership since an opening weekend defeat against Northampton, welcome Leicester to Kingsholm on Saturday.

And the home side will not be able to consider their former England flanker Andy Hazell, who is banned until mid-January following his dismissal for striking an opponent during Gloucester's Challenge Cup win against Mont-de-Marsan earlier this month.

Exeter, who have yet to record an away win this season, must bounce back from a 46-12 Heineken Cup drubbing against Clermont Auvergne last weekend when they visit Bath.

History, though, is stacked against the Chiefs, given that they have not beaten Bath in a competitive game since 1978, while Saturday's other league encounter sees leaders Northampton entertaining fourth-placed Saracens.

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