Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of today’s Premier League semi-final between the Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers at AJ Bell Stadium.
Regardless of the outcome in Salford today, history will be made. A win for sale would help the Sharks advance to their first final in 17 years, since their one and only Premier League title in 2006. Who were their opponents that day? Leicester tigers, of course.
At the heart of the 2006 Sales effort was a young half-brother named Richard Wigglesworth. Today, however, Wigglesworth finds himself as the interim head coach of the team trying to outdo his boyhood club, with the Tigers hoping to reach the Premiership final in a row for the first time in a while. 10 years.
This season’s form, despite the Tigers’ remarkable record last season when they won their last six Premiership games, suggests that Sell is the favorite today. The Sharks scored twice against Leicester – including a 40-5 thrashing in Salford in December – en route to a well-deserved second place in the standings. Alex Sanderson had a pretty big impact at Sale.
Sub-plots pop up these days but it’s hard to see beyond the man wearing the home team’s No 10 shirt. George Ford inspired in the Tigers’ Premiership championship last season but today he is a Shark, hoping to appear in his second consecutive Premiership final – but with different clubs . There can’t be too many people who have done that.
With two impressive, relatively well-matched packages, the midfield battle – in addition to Ford and opposite number, Handrè Pollard – could go a long way to deciding today’s winner. Leicester’s little star Dan Kelly, who has not suffered a hamstring injury, could have played a much more prominent role in England’s Six Nations campaign against former Leicester icon Manu Tuilagi in Midfielder Sell. If Kelly can turn down sales momentum, Leicester might have a half chance.
Following yesterday’s win over Northampton, Saracens are looking forward to the final at Twickenham in less than two weeks. Regardless of today’s results, Mark McCall’s team must surely be the favorites in English rugby, but a clear result from either of these two could really put cats in the pigeons. .