We take a closer look at Sunday's opponents Sale Sharks, as they prepare to make the trip to the West Country...
Sale Sharks - 32-9 Bath Rugby - 23rd December 2017 – AJ Bell Stadium
Sale were the victors in the first encounter of the season at the AJ Bell Stadium. Bath took a 9-6 lead going into half-time courtesy of Rhys Priestland’s boot, but Sale Sharks controlled the second-half to come out 32-9 winners with tries from Josh Strauss, Byron McGuigan, James O’Connor and Will Cliff.
Bath Rugby 33-32 Sale Sharks – 24th February 2018 – The Recreation Ground
The reverse fixture at the Rec was a different story, Bath took the lead with two early penalties, but Sale responded through quickfire tries from Denny Solomona and Marland Yarde. Bath took the lead five minutes from the interval as Zach Mercer went in to score. However, it was Sale who went into half-time with the lead courtesy of a Faf de Klerk penalty just before the break.
De Klerk extended the Sharks with another penalty early in the second half, but Bath responded through flanker Josh Bayliss who ran in to score the hosts second try of the match. The sides exchanged further penalty kicks before Solomona went in for his second just 10 minutes from time giving his side a six-point advantage. It wasn't over as Mercer went over just a minute from time, with James Wilson holding his nerve at the tee to give Bath a dramatic 33-32 victory.
L – Worcester Warriors – A – Premiership Rugby Cup (35-3)
D – Saracens – A – Premiership Rugby Cup (15-15)
W – Leicester Tigers – A – Gallagher Premiership (16-18)
L – Saracens – A – Gallagher Premiership (31-26)
W – Northampton Saints – H – Gallagher Premiership (18-13)
Head to Head
Zach Mercer v Jean-Luc du Preez – The battle of the back-row. Zach Mercer has been a stand-out performer for Bath Rugby this season, which has coincided with his first cap for England during the recent Quilter Autumn Internationals. The number eight will go up against Jean-Luc du Preez, who joined Sale earlier this month on loan from Super Rugby side Lions. Capped seven times by South Africa, it promises to be an exciting match-up on Sunday.
There are limited tickets available for this fixture, with adult tickets starting from £20. You can purchase tickets online here or call the Ticket Office on 0844 448 1865.