Sale stay second in Premiership but England forward Curry injured

Sale won 24-16 away to Harlequins on Sunday to stay second in the English Premiership table but only after England back-row Tom Curry went off injured at a rain-sodden Twickenham Stoop.

Curry gave new England coach Steve Borthwick, waiting to find out if fly-half Owen Farrell will be cited, something else to worry about ahead of next month's Six Nations opener against Scotland whenhe limped off in the 16th minute after his right leg was trapped awkwardly during a tackle by Wilco Louw.

But Salev overcame the early loss of the flanker to establish a 14-6 lead at half-time after Tom O'Flaherty and Rob du Preez both managed to score tries despite the rain pouring down in southwest London.

Joe Marchant went over to raise the spirits of title contenders Quins' hopes but tries from Sale forwards Akker van der Merwe and Cobus Wiese ensured the hosts suffered a third successive league defeat.

Sunday's other top-flight match saw London Irish overpower bottom-of-the-table Bristol 23-7, with the visitors now two points adrift o 10th-placed Bath at the foot of the standings.

The Exiles ran in tries from Benhard van Rensburg and Ben White, with Rory Jennings -- a late change off the bench after Paddy Jackson failed a pre-match fitness test - converting both scores and also kicking three penalties.

All Bristol could manage in reply was a Harry Thacker try converted by AJ MacGinty.

One consolation for the southwest club is that there is no relegation from the Premiership this season -- a decision taken even before Wasps and Worcester were relegated from England's top flight for entering administration.