Premiership: 100 up for Lewis Ludlam as Northampton Saints and Gloucester battle for final play-off place

·10-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The regular season of the Premiership concludes on Saturday with all six games taking place at the same time as Northampton Saints and Gloucester battle for the final play-off place.

Check out the teams and predictions below.

Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins

Form: Exeter Chiefs have failed to make the play-offs for the first time since 2015. The Chiefs’ only victory in their last five Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches was 42-22 at home to Bath in Round 22. Exeter have only been defeated once in their last six first team matches at Sandy Park: 17-22 to Leicester in Round 21 of Premiership Rugby. Defending champions Harlequins have already reached the semi-finals for the sixth time. The Londoners’ only loss in their last eight Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures was by a single point at Northampton in Round 24. Harlequins’ three-game winning run away from home in Premiership Rugby ended with their 31-32 defeat at Franklin’s Gardens on 29 April. Harlequins have won their last two encounters with Exeter including the 2021 final at Twickenham. Quins have not achieved a regular season’s double over the Chiefs since 2013/14.

Prediction: Harlequins by 7

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Stu Townsend, 8 Richard Capstick, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Iestyn Harris, 17 James Kenny, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Sean O’Brien, 23 Facundo Cordero

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aaron Morris, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 Stephan Lewies, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 George Hammond, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Luke Northmore

Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Phil Watters, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: David Rose

Gloucester v Saracens

Form: Gloucester Rugby are attempting to reach a fifth Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-final and their first since 2019. Excluding unplayed fixtures, Gloucester have won just one of their last five Premiership Rugby matches: 64-0 at home to Bath in Round 24. Gloucester’s only defeat at Kingsholm in Gallagher Premiership Rugby since early January was 21-27 to Wasps on 2 April. Saracens have already reached a twelfth Premiership Rugby semi-final match and a seventh at home. The Londoners’ only loss in their last ten Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures was 30-32 at London Irish in Round 17. Gloucester beat Saracens 25-24 at StoneX Stadium in Round 13 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over them since 2008/09. Saracens have already been successful at Kingsholm this season, beating their hosts 44-15 in the quarter finals of the European Challenge Cup in early May.

Prediction: Gloucester by 10

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Giorgi Kveseladze, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Andrew Davidson, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Jonny May

Saracens: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Ben Harris, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Toby Knight, 6 Jackson Wray (c), 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 3 Alec Clarey, 2 Kapeli Pifeleti, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Cameron Boon, 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Josh Hallett

Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson, Simon Harding
TMO: Tom Foley

Leicester Tigers v Wasps

Form: Leicester Tigers have already qualified for a thirteenth Premiership Rugby semi-final but their first since 2017, and their first at home since 2013. The Tigers have lost just once in their last five Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches: 20-26 to Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop in Round 23. Tigers are bidding to win every home game of a Premiership campaign for the first time since 2001/02. The last club to beat them in Premiership Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road was Bristol Bears in Round 21 last season. Wasps’ 7-16 defeat at home to Sale in Round 25 ended a four-game unbeaten run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Wasps are unbeaten in their last two away games in Premiership Rugby their best run on the road since February 2021. Wasps are one of only four clubs to have beaten Leicester in Premiership Rugby this season and are attempting a regular season’s double over the Tigers since 2016/17. Wasps’ only victory at Welford Road since 2008 was 34-22 on 10 September 2016.

Prediction: Leicester by 20

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Harry Potter, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 George Martin, 5 Calum Green, 4 Ollie Chessum, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Ellis Genge (c)
Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Nemani Nadolo

Wasps: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Paolo Odogwu, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Tom West
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Will Porter, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Joe James, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons

Form: Northampton Saints are attempting to reach a tenth Premiership Rugby semi-final match and their first since 2019. The Saints’ five-game winning run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 38-42 reversal at Saracens in Round 25. Northampton have won their last four home games in all competitions, their best sequence at cinch Stadium since 2019. Newcastle Falcons have lost their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures since beating Worcester 45-10 at Sixways on 2 April. The Falcons’ two other away wins in Premiership Rugby this season were at Bath in Round 2 and at Exeter in Round 8. Northampton beat Newcastle 44-8 at Kingston Park in Round 13 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Tynesiders since 2014/15. Newcastle have not won at Franklin’s Gardens since their visit on 1 December 2018.

Prediction: Northampton by 12

The teams:

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tommy Freeman, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Lewis Ludlam (c), 7 Aaron Hinkley, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Brandon Nansen, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Tom James, 23 Courtnall Skosan

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young, 8 Callum Chick (c), 7 Josh Basham, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 George Merrick, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 George Wacokecoke

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson, John Meredith
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears

Form: Sale Sharks’ only defeat in their last five Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches was 12-18 at home to Saracens on 1 April. That reversal was their only defeat at AJ Bell Stadium in Premiership Rugby since early October. Bristol Bears’ last five matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. The Bears have lost their last seven away games in Premiership Rugby since beating London Irish 45-33 at Brentford Community Stadium in Round 7. Bristol beat Sale 32-15 at Ashton Gate on 7 January and have not achieved a Gallagher Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Northerners since 2006/07. The Bears have already won at AJ Bell Stadium this season, beating their hosts 10-9 in the European Champions Cup Round of 16 first leg in early April. Their only other victory at the stadium was on their first ever visit, 24-23 in Premiership Rugby on New Year’s Day 2017.

Prediction: Sale by 5

The teams:

Sale: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Arron Reed, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Bevan Rodd
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Connor Doherty, 23 Kieran Wilkinson

Bristol: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Jack Bates , 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Toby Fricker, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Sam Jeffries, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 5 Chris Vui, 4 John Hawkins, 3 John Afoa, 2 Jake Kerr, 1 Jake Woolmore
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Jono Benz-Salomon, 18 George Kloska, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Henry Purdy

Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant referees: Nick Wood, Wayne Falla
TMO: Hamish Smales

Worcester Warriors v Bath

Form: Worcester Warriors have not won in Gallagher Premiership Rugby since beating Exeter 35-31 at Sixways on 12 March. The Warriors’ record at Sixways in Premiership Rugby this season is won five, lost six. Bath Rugby’s four game winless run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 27-24 victory at home to London Irish in Round 25. Bath have won only once away from home in any competition this season: 30-25 at Newcastle in Round 18 of Premiership Rugby. Worcester’s most recent victory over Bath in Premiership Rugby was 21-19 at Sixways in January 2019.

Prediction: Warriors by 7

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson, 8 Ted Hill (c), 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Noah Heward, 23 Alex Hearle

Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Charlie Ewels (c), 4 Ewan Richards, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Valeriy Morozov, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Miles Reid, 21 Max Green, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb

Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, Greg Macdonald
TMO: Claire Hodnett

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The article Premiership: 100 up for Lewis Ludlam as Northampton Saints and Gloucester battle for final play-off place appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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