Sale Sharks have made fifteen changes to the team that ran in six tries against Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium last weekend as Steve Diamond’s men head to France to face La Rochelle on Friday evening at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre. (Kick-off 7:45 GMT)

The Sale Director of Rugby has opted to rotate his squad for the Shark’s trip to France and names a side packed with English talent to face La Rochelle in Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup.

Ross Harrison is one of only six players to keep his place in the starting line-up for the crunch European fixture with the long serving loose-head making up an experienced front row alongside Rob Webber and Jake Cooper-Woolley.

Steve Diamond has opted for a complete change at second row to compile an all English front five. Exciting academy prospect Matt Postlethwaite pairs up with James Phillips in the lock and will make his second start in the competition this season.

Jean-Luc du Preez moves into the back row after dominating from the lock last weekend, he teams up with Ben Curry and twin brother Daniel to complete an explosive back row capable of dealing with a huge La Rochelle pack.

After an impressive performance last time out in the Gallagher Premiership, Will Cliff will marshall the team from scrum half alongside AJ McGinty at stand-off, who will start his fourth Heineken Cup game of the season.

James Williams gets his first opportunity to start for Sale after joining from the Worcester Warriors Academy over the summer. The young utility back has made one appearance from the bench for the Sharks first team this season and has been rewarded with a start in the Heineken Champions Cup by Steve Diamond after consistently impressing for the Jets in the Premiership Rugby Shield.

Williams will line up with last week’s Man of the Match Sam James in the midfield and the pair will have a back three of Marland Yarde, Tom Roebuck and Luke James outside them.


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