Brian Smith said: "We will be picking the strongest side possible for Sunday. We are going into the LV= Cup with the intent to go as far as we can.
“Regardless of whether it’s the Aviva Premiership, JP Morgan Sevens, the Amlin Challenge Cup or the LV=Cup…we want to win trophies. Consequently we’ll be selecting very strong teams to play in every competitive match this season. There is risk associated with this strategy but we are trying to build a winning culture so there is method in the madness.”
Irish started the season in positive fashion by lifting the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens trophy in the summer and won their opening two Amlin Cup pool matches by big margins after fielding strong sides.
Smith continued by saying: “We think the LV= Cup is a good competition. There is a trophy at stake and we want to be contenders. We won’t be using this weekend as an exercise to rotate the squad.”
England International, Alex Corbisiero, will make his first start of the season after recovering from a knee injury sustained whilst on International duty with England in South Africa.
Shane Geraghty will also start his first match of the season for the Club since his return to Sunbury in the summer. Geraghty has made five appearances so far this season, all of which have been from the bench.
“It is great to have Alex back and available. He is an outstanding player and he has been itching to get back for a while now.
“Shane made a successful comeback for us against Sale on Friday night, which was one of the positives to come out of the game.”
London Irish went down 21 points to 9 against Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening and Sunday presents the Exiles with a chance to redeem themselves.
Smith added: “We will be back on our own patch on Sunday. We always play well at home and want to put in another strong performance this weekend.”
London Irish team to face Sale Sharks:
15. Anthony Watson; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Guy Armitage; 12. Shane Geraghty; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Alex Corbisiero; 2. Brian Blaney; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. George Skivington; 5. Bryn Evans (Captain); 6. Matt Garvey; 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Chris Hala’ufia
Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18. Cai Griffiths; 19. Kieran Low; 20. Alex Gray; 21. Conor Gaston; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Jack Moates
Sale Sharks: 15.Rob Miller, 14.Charlie Amesbury, 13.Will Addison, 12.Mark Jennings, 11.Cameron Shepherd, 10.Danny Cipriani, 9.Dwayne Peel (Captain), 1.Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2.Tommy Taylor, 3.Vadim Cobilas, 4.Fraser McKenzie, 5.James Gaskell, 6.Andy Powell, 7.Richie Vernon, 8.Mark Easter
Replacements: 16.Tom Cruse, 17.Ross Harrison, 18.Tony Buckley, 19.Kearnan Myall, 20.Will Bordill, 21.Will Cliff, 22.Jordan Davies, 23.Corne Uys
Show your "Exile-Style" and wear it with pride!