Gallagher Premiership high-flyers Sale Sharks have received a double boost ahead of their all-Heineken Champions Cup home clash with London Irish at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday night.
England scrum-half Raffi Quirke and Scotland hooker Ewan Ashman return to the Sharks’ starting line-up for the first time this season as Alex Sanderson makes five changes in a bid for a fifth successive league win.
No.8 Dan du Preez and captain Ben Curry are recalled to the back row, while Sam Hill, fit again after an injury-plagued 2021/22 season, is back at inside centre.
Meanwhile, Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney gives a debut to No.8 So’otala Fa’aso’o, who joined the Exiles from CA Brive in the summer.
In the United Rugby Championship (URC), Leinster Rugby, last season’s Heineken Champions Cup runners-up, welcome back centre Garry Ringrose, who will captain the side at Connacht Rugby.
The XV also includes right wing Liam Turner, scrum-half Cormac Foley, prop Tadhg Furlong and lock James Ryan, who start their first games of the 2022-23 season.
Also in the URC on Friday, Ospreys are in action in an all-Heineken Champions Cup encounter with the DHL Stormers at the Swansea.com Stadium. Head coach Toby Booth gives fly-half Stephen Myler his first runout of the season.