23rd Oct, 2020

Black in line to join 100 club but doubts remain over Sharks clash

Rob George 3rd Oct, 2020

LOOSEHEAD prop Callum Black is set to become the latest Warriors player to join the 100 Club but only if Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership finale against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium (kick-off 3pm) goes ahead.

Black made his 99th appearance when he came off the bench in Wednesday’s victory over Saracens at Sixways and he has again been named as a replacement for the trip to Manchester.

If Black does reach his century of appearances on Sunday he will become only the 27th Warrior to reach the landmark in the professional era but the fifth this season following Ryan Mills, Ryan Bower, GJ van Velze and Matt Cox.

Black, 34, made 51 appearances his first spell with Warriors having progressed through the academy at Sixways and he then played more than 140 times for Ulster before he re-joined Warriors two years ago.

Warriors have made six changes to the side that beat Saracens on Wednesday, three of them enforced as wing Perry Humphreys (ankle), centre Ashley Beck (ankle) and tighthead prop Nick Schonert (head) have all been ruled by injuries sustained in that game.

Melani Nanai switches to the wing to replace Humphreys with Chris Pennell, who came off the bench against Saracens, named at full-back.

Scott van Breda forms a new centre partnership with Ollie Lawrence and Richard Palframan takes Schonert’s place in the front row.

Lock Andrew Kitchener returns from a three-match suspension in place of Justin Clegg with Beck Cutting named at hooker and Marco Mama at number eight for his first start since the 2019/20 season resumed in August.

Former Oxford University tighthead Joe Morris comes onto the bench along with back-row forwards Sam Lewis and Tom Dodd and full-back/fly-half Jamie Shillcock.

Warriors are still awaiting confirmation from Premiership Rugby whether the match will go ahead after a significant number of Sale players and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Premiership Rugby confirmed on Saturday that they are conducting a review and working with Public Health England and local health officials in Manchester to determine whether it is safe for Sunday’s match to go ahead.

Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Scott van Breda, 11 Noah Heward, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Marco Mama.

Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Callum Black, 18 Joe Morris, 19 Sam Lewis, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Joe Batley, 22 Gareth Simpson, 23 Jamie Shillcock.

Unavailable | Ashley Beck, Will Butler, Conor Carey, Lewis Holsey, Tom Howe, Perry Humphreys, Graham Kitchener, Sam Lewis, Morgan Monks, Caleb Montgomery, Matt  Moulds, Nick Schonert, GJ van Velze, Francois Venter.

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