Harlequins v Sale, Aviva Premiership, February 19
Quins out to bite Sharks
February 18, 2011
England scrum-half Danny Care will be back on domestic duty this weekend alongside Rory Clegg in the Quins line-up © Getty Images
After a disappointing loss to Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins are back at the Stoop this weekend to take on a struggling Sale Sharks outfit.
Quins' play-off hopes took a knock at Sandy Park last weekend as Exeter showed plenty of bite to win 20-6 and Conor O'Shea's men cannot afford for their blip to become a losing run.
Sale lost a battle against Bath 17-9 at Edgeley Park in the last round of action and Pete Anglesea will not want to see his side dragged closer to the battle at the bottom.
Harlequins - Player to Watch: England scrum-half Danny Care returns to domestic duties and will be keen to keep the pressure on international rival Ben Youngs with another lively display.
Harlequins - Team News: Quins welcome back Care in one of three changes to the side that fell to Exeter. Care comes in for the injured Karl Dickson while Rory Clegg is handed the playmaking duties at No.10 after Nick Evans was ruled out with a muscle strain. In the other change, Peter Browne comes in at lock to replace the injured George Robson.
Sale Sharks - Player to Watch: Leading tryscorer Tom Brady returns to the right wing having been injured scoring his seventh try of the season against London Irish on November 5.
Sale Sharks - Team News: In addition to Brady's return, prop Jack Forster is also back from injury but must made do with a place on the bench. Loose-head Andrew Sheridan was released by England earlier this week and starts in the Sharks front row whilst Nick Macleod, Dwayne Peel and Iain Thornley miss the game through injury.
Key Battle: If the Sharks are to threaten the hosts then they will have to make their mark up front with Sheridan's confrontation with Quins' James Johnston set to prove pivotal while testing the England stalwart's fitness.
Trivia: In prop James Johnston, Harlequins boast the heaviest player in this season's Premiership. Just the 140kgs.
Stats: Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is currently leading the race for the Premiership's golden boot, having picked up 175 so far this season.
"We are aware of the improvements that we need to make, but you do not become a bad side after only one loss, and we know that we can play great rugby. The sign of a top side is not that they never lose, but how they react when they do suffer defeat." - Quins prop Mark Lambert
"We're delighted to have Andrew Sheridan, Jack Forster and Tom Brady back to strengthen our squad. We've trained well this week, and the players have been positive in their approach to the game. We're looking forward to giving a good account of ourselves against a very good Quins side." - Sharks Head Coach Pete Anglesea
Fantasy: Nick Evans has been racking up the points so far in the ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby Game but injury has sidelined him for this clash - time to shake up your line-up?
Prediction: On home turf, Harlequins will be too strong for a Sale side that has failed to maintain any consistency so far this term.
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