Peter Stringer joins Ronan O’Gara once more

Even at 38, there is simply no stopping Peter Stringer who tonight equals Ronan O’Gara’s record for European appearances.

The scrum-half runs out for the 112th time in Sale Sharks’ Challenge Cup quarter-final against Montpellier to match his former half-back partner.

Of all the players to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with, it is fitting for Stringer and O’Gara to momentarily stand atop of European club rugby following their remarkable partnership for both Munster and Ireland.

The pair appeared together in three Heineken Cup Finals, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Stringer was left on the bench for the 2008 triumph though played for Bath in the 2014 Challenge Cup Final following a spell at Saracens.

Stringer’s European career began as a 20-year-old back in 1998 with defeat in France to Perpignan. Now settled in Manchester, the veteran starts alongside Danny Cipriani aiming to clinch a victory over French opponents that could see him claim the record outright in the semi-finals later this month against either Gloucester or Newport Gwent Dragons.

Stringer said: “There are only a few games left but we’re in a decent position both in the league and Europe. We would have taken this at the start of the season.

“We are pushing for the top six in the Premiership and we now have an opportunity of getting to a European semi-final which is always exciting. Hopefully there are some big days and big games ahead.”

SALE SHARKS:

M Haley; T Brady, S James, J Leota, N Edwards; D Cipriani, P Stringer; R Harrison, T Taylor, V Cobilas, B Evans, A Ostrikov, C Neild, M Lund (capt), TJ Ioane.

Replacements:

N Briggs, E Lewis-Roberts, B Mujati, J Mills, D Seymour, J Mitchell, J Ford, M Jennings.

MONTPELLIER:

J Mogg; T Nagusa, A Tuitavke, F Steyn, B Fall; B Lucas, B Paillaugue; M Nariashvili, B Du Plessis, J Du Plessis, P Willemse, T Privat, F Ouedraogo (capt), W Liebenberg, A Qera.

Replacements:

M Ivaldi, Y Watremez, D Kubriashvili, R Watchou, K Galletier, C Wright, R Ebersohn, A Floch.

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