Premiership: Ben Earl set to hit 100 for Saracens against Exeter Chiefs while Santiago Carreras is back at fly-half for Gloucester

Ben Earl Saracens v Harlequins Premiership 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Ben Earl Saracens v Harlequins Premiership 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

The teams have been named for this weekend’s Premiership games, including the encounter between table-toppers Saracens and sixth-placed Exeter Chiefs at StoneX Stadium on Saturday.

Check out the teams and our predictions for all of the weekend’s games, here.


Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers

Form: Sale Sharks’ last four matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. The Sharks have been defeated just once at home in any competition since April: 13-29 by Harlequins in Round 7 of Premiership Rugby. Leicester Tigers are unbeaten in their last six first team matches since their narrow defeat at Bath in Round 10 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. The Tigers’ record on the road this season in Premiership Rugby is won two, drawn one, lost three. Sale have lost only one of their last eight Premiership Rugby fixtures against Leicester: 11-19 at Mattiolli Woods Welford Road in October 2021. The Tigers have not won at Salford City Stadium since a 35-13 scoreline in May 2018.

Prediction: Sale by 4

The teams:

Sale: 15 Luke James, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Sam James, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Rob du Preez (c), 9 Gus Warr, 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 James Harper, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Byron McGuigan

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Harry Potter, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Olly Cracknell, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 James Whitcombe
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Calum Green, 20 Sean Jansen, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Chris Ashton

Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald, Peter Allan
TMO: Claire Hodnett


Bath v Newcastle Falcons

Form: Bath Rugby have lost their last two Premiership Rugby encounters, albeit with a losing bonus-point, since beating Leicester 19-18 at the Recreation Ground on 11 November. Bath’s only other home victory in Premiership Rugby this season was against Northampton in Round 7. Newcastle Falcons have won three of their last four Premiership Rugby fixtures, with the defeat being at London Irish in Round 12. The Falcons have won only one of their last seven away games in Premiership Rugby: 27-21 at Gloucester in Round 10. The last five clashes between the two clubs have all remarkably been won by the away side on the day.

Prediction: Bath by 7

The teams:

Bath: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer (c), 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Lewis Boyce
Replacements: 16 John Stewart, 17 Valeriy Morozov, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Miles Reid, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Chris Cloete

Newcastle: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Tom Penny (c), 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Callum Chick, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Adam Brocklebank
16 Ollie Fletcher, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Michael Young, 22 Matias Moroni, 23 Adam Radwan

Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Jack Makepeace
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Rose

Gloucester v London Irish

Form: Gloucester Rugby’s only victory in their last five Premiership Rugby fixtures was 34-19 at home to Northampton on 3 December. Gloucester have been defeated just once at Kingsholm in any competition since May: 21-27 by Newcastle in Round 10 of Premiership Rugby. London Irish have won their last two Premiership Rugby matches, both at home, to Newcastle and Saracens and have not won three in succession in the competition since early 2020. The Exiles have not been victorious away from home in Premiership Rugby since their long trip to Newcastle on 22 April. Gloucester are unbeaten in their last four matches against London Irish since the Exiles 32-26 win at Brentford in February 2021. London Irish have only ever been victorious twice at Kingsholm in Premiership Rugby history, beating their hosts 13-9 in January 2006 and 18-12 seven years later.

Prediction: Gloucester by 5

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Jonny May, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Harry Taylor, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Santiago Socino, 1 Harry Elrington
16 George McGuigan, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Albert Tuisue, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Tom Seabrook

London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Chunya Munga, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Lovejoy Chawatama, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Josh Basham, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Luca Morisi

Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant Referees: Simon Harding, George Selwood
TMO: Andrew Jackson

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

Form: Saracens’ nine-game winning run in Premiership Rugby this season ended with their 20-29 loss at London Irish last Friday. Saracens have won their last twelve home games in Premiership Rugby since Gloucester beat them by a single point at StoneX Stadium on 8 January. Exeter Chiefs have won their last five first team matches since tripping up at Newcastle in Round 11 of Premiership Rugby. The Chiefs have lost their last three away games in the tournament since beating Bristol 50-14 at Ashton Gate on 7 October. Saracens have lost just two of their last seven encounters with the Devonians whilst Exeter’s most recent victory at StoneX Stadium was 20-18 in November 2017.

Prediction: Saracens by 10

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Max Malins, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Andy Christie, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Hugh Tizard, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Alex Lewington

Exeter: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Sam Maunder, 8 Greg Fisilau, 7 Chris Tshiunza, 6 Santiago Grondona, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Jack Dunne, 20 Lewis Pearson, 21 Tom Cairns, 22 Tom Hendrickson, 23 Rory O’Loughlin

Venue: StoneX Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Dan Jones, Phil Watters
TMO: Rowan Kitt


Northampton Saints v Harlequins

Form: Northampton have lost their last two Premiership Rugby matches, both away from home, at Saracens and at Gloucester. The Saints’ only defeat at cinch Stadium in Premiership Rugby since February was 21-41 to local rivals Leicester at the end of September. Harlequins’ four game winning run in Premiership Rugby ended with their 12-15 reversal to Bristol at the Twickenham Stoop on Tuesday. The Londoners have won three of their four away games in Premiership Rugby this campaign. Harlequins’ only defeat in their last six fixtures with the Saints in Premiership Rugby was by a solitary point on their most recent visit to Franklin’s Gardens in April. Harlequins have been successful just once at Northampton’s home in any competition since 2012: 49-29 in Premiership Rugby in November 2020.

Prediction: Northampton by 3

The teams:

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 James Ramm, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Lewis Ludlam (c), 7 Angus Scott-Young, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Alex Moon, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Karl Wilkins, 20 Sam Graham, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Courtnall Skosan

Harlequins: 15 Nick David, 14 Cadan Murley, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Lewis Gjaltema, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c), 7 Tom Lawday, 6 Archie White, 5 George Hammond, 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Fin Baxter
Replacements: 16 George Head, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Danny Care, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Oscar Beard

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Harry Walbaum, John Meredith
TMO: Dean Richards

READ MORE: Rob Baxter: Exeter boss expects more shocks in Premiership before calling latest law variations ‘madness’

The article Premiership: Ben Earl set to hit 100 for Saracens against Exeter Chiefs while Santiago Carreras is back at fly-half for Gloucester appeared first on