Lamont facing Frank assessment

Scotland coach Frank Hadden will be watching closely as Rory Lamont returns to action in Sale's Guinness Premiership clash with Leeds. [more]

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Scotland coach Frank Hadden will be watching closely as Rory Lamont returns to action in Sale’s Guinness Premiership clash with Leeds.

Lamont, his country’s player of the year in 2007, was ruled out of last weekend’s RBS 6 Nations defeat to Wales with shoulder and ankle problems.Scotland missed him badly.

They have not scored a try in two championship games and Hadden will want all his attacking options available for next weekend’s trip to face Ireland at Croke Park.

Lamont, who has scored eight times in nine appearances for Sale this season, starts on the wing tonight as the Sharks look to keep up their hunt for a top four finish.

Fifth-placed Sale, who have never lost to Leeds and are unbeaten at home all season, also welcome newly-capped England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth back from international duty, while French prop Lionel Faure starts.

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Sale boss Philippe Saint-Andre said: "It should be a very competitive game as we both need to win for different reasons.

"We need the points to keep up our top-four challenge and Leeds need the points in the efforts to pull away from the foot of the table.

"The game at Headingley earlier in the season saw us under the hammer in the early part of the game but we weathered the storm and returned home winners."

Struggling Leeds are five points adrift of Worcester at the bottom of the Premiership and have won just one league game all season.

But Headingley boss Stuart Lancaster has taken heart from Leeds’ fightback to earn a bonus point against London Irish in their last outing.And he insists the survival campaign must begin now.

"We are looking to build on our performance against London Irish and hit this next group of Guinness Premiership games running," said Lancaster.

"Sale are obviously a side packed full of quality and experience and will be hugely motivated to gain points to improve their league position.

"But the same is true for us and we have set ourselves some firm goals."

Lancaster has named an unchanged side from the 26-24 defeat to London Irish a fortnight ago.

Loose forward Adam Balding, who played for Gloucester last weekend against Leicester, has returned to Leeds to conclude his three-month loan spell. Joe Bedford will continue to captain the side in the absence of Stuart Hooper, who is suffering with a shoulder injury.

Leeds’ eyes will be firmly fixed on Worcester’s progress at Harlequins, whose only victory in their last 13 matches was against the Warriors back in December

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