Premiership: Harlequins and Leicester Tigers stacked with talent in pick of the games on Saturday

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

The sides have been named for this weekend’s Premiership games, including the tussle between defending champions Harlequins and table-toppers Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.

Check out the line-ups and our predictions for all of the weekend’s fixtures, here.

Friday

Bristol Bears v Gloucester

Form: Bristol Bears have lost their last four Premiership Rugby matches since beating Wasps at Ashton Gate on 25 February. The Bears have not lost five in a row in the competition since 2017. Bristol have lost two of their last three Premiership Rugby encounters at Ashton Gate. Gloucester Rugby have lost their last two Premiership Rugby matches since beating Northampton Saints at Kingsholm in Round 19. The Cherry & Whites have lost their last three away games in Premiership Rugby, their worst run on the road for twelve months. Gloucester beat Bristol 27-10 at Kingsholm in Round 10 and have not achieved a Premiership season’s double over there near neighbours since 2016/17. Gloucester have already won at Ashton Gate this season, beating their hosts their 43 15 in the Premiership Rugby Cup on 30 March however their only previous victory at Ashton Gate in Premiership Rugby was 32-14 in March 2017.

Prediction: Bristol Bears by 3

The teams:

Bristol: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Toby Fricker, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Antoine Frisch, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Sam Jeffries, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 5 Chris Vui, 4 Ed Holmes, 3 John Afoa, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Jake Woolmore
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jono Benz-Salomon, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Sam Bedlow, 23 Jack Bates

Gloucester: 15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Charlie Chapman, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Santiago Socino, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Andrew Davidson, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Tom Seabrook

Venue: Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Joe James, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Claire Hodnett

Newcastle Falcons v London Irish

Form: Newcastle Falcons’ 45-10 victory at Worcester in Round 22 was their first win in Premiership Rugby since early December on a visit to Exeter. The Falcons’ most recent win at Kingston Park in Premiership Rugby was when Bristol were the visitors on 16 October. London Irish have lost their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches since beating Worcester 43-12 at the Brentford Community Stadium on 5 March. The Exiles’ only away win in any competition since early December was 49-32 at Bristol in Round 16 of Premiership Rugby. London Irish beat Newcastle 43-21 at Brentford in Round 10 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Tynesiders since 2010/11. The Irish have won just once at Kingston Park in any competition since 2010: 20-18 in Premiership Rugby in September 2014.

Prediction: London Irish by 10

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Max Wright, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Josh Basham, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Philip van der Walt, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Freddie Lockwood, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Adam Radwan

London Irish: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Kyle Rowe, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Ben White, 22 Will Joseph, 23 Henry Arundell

Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, John Meredith
TMO: David Rose

Saturday

Bath v Northampton Saints

Form: Bath Rugby are without a win in their last five first team matches since beating Bristol 29-27 at the Recreation Ground on 5 March. Bath have lost just once at the Rec in Premiership Rugby in 2022: 20-24 to table topping Leicester on 19 February. Northampton Saints’ five match winning run in all competitions ended with their 21-31 reversal at Gloucester in the European Challenge Cup last weekend. The Saints have won on five occasions in away matches in Premiership Rugby this campaign including a 42-22 victory at London Irish in Round 21. Northampton beat Bath 40-19 at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in December and have not achieved a season’s double over Bath since 2015/16. The Saints have been defeated on their last six visits to the Rec in all competitions since winning there, 13-11, in Premiership Rugby in December 2015.

Prediction: Northampton by 10

The teams:

Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Will Muir, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Miles Reid, 6 Josh Bayliss, 5 Charlie Ewels (c), 4 Mike Williams, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Valeriy Morozov
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Ewan Richards, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Joe Cokanasiga

Northampton: 15 Tommy Freeman, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 George Furbank, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Lewis Ludlam (c), 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Conor Carey, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Brandon Nansen, 21 Tom James, 22 James Grayson, 23 Piers Francis

Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Joe James, Paul Dix
TMO: Dean Richards

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Form: Harlequins have won their last five Premiership Rugby matches since their 10-19 defeat at Saracens on 13 February. Quins’ only defeat in their last five home games in Premiership Rugby was 14-36 to Sale Sharks on 6 February. Leicester Tigers have lost just one of their last seven Premiership Rugby fixtures: 27-34 at Saracens in Round 19. The Tigers have lost three of their last five away games in Premiership Rugby. Leicester beat Harlequins 16-14 at Welford Road in December and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Londoners since 2017/18. Leicester have lost on their last two visits to the Twickenham Stoop since beating Harlequins there 31-28 in September 2017.

Prediction: Leicester by 5

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Huw Jones, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Stephan Lewies (c), 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Simon Kerrod, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 George Hammond, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Tom Lawday, 22 Lewis Gjaltema, 23 Nick David

Leicester: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sean Jansen, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Calum Green, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Chris Ashton

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Wayne Falla
TMO: Tom Foley

Wasps v Worcester Warriors

Form: Wasps have won their last five matches in all competitions since their 22-27 defeat at Northampton in Round 20 of Premiership Rugby. Wasps have won their last seven matches at Coventry Building Society Arena in all tournaments since Munster beat them there in the European Champions Cup on 12 December. Worcester Warriors have won two of their last five Premiership Rugby encounters, both at home to Bristol in Round 17 and Exeter in Round 20. The Warriors have won only twice away from home in the 2021/22 season: at Zebre in the European Challenge Cup in January and at Bath in the Premiership Rugby Cup on 30 March. Worcester beat Wasps 32-31 at Sixways in Round 10 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over their Midlands rivals since 2008/09. The Warriors have won just twice before on Wasps’ soil, both at High Wycombe, in September 2008 and New Year’s Day 2012.

Prediction: Wasps by 15

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Jacob Umaga, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Joe Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Alfie Barbeary, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Elliot Stooke, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Dan Frost, 1 Tom West
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Tim Cardall, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Will Porter, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Paolo Odogwu

Worcester: 15 Harri Doel, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Ted Hill (c), 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Murray McCallum
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Seb Atkinson

Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley, Phil Watters
TMO: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Sunday

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

Form: Saracens have won their last four Premiership Rugby matches since their 30-32 loss at London Irish on 19 February. Saracens’ only home defeat in any competition since early January was 35-46 to Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup on 19 March. Exeter Chiefs two game losing run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 42-22 victory at home to Bath in Round 22. The Chiefs have won two of their last three away games in Premiership Rugby. Exeter beat Saracens 18-15 at Sandy Park in Round 10 and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Londoner’s since 2017/18. The Chiefs have won only twice before at StoneX Stadium, both in Premiership Rugby, in May 2015 and November 2017.

Prediction: Saracens by 12

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Max Malins, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Theo McFarland, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Jackson Wray, 20 Andy Christie, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Alex Lewington

Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Sam Maunder, 8 Jacques Vermeulen, 7 Richard Capstick, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Josh Hodge

Venue: StoneX Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Rowan Kitt

READ MORE: Wales: Senior players helped Louis Rees-Zammit bounce back after being dropped during the Six Nations

The article Premiership: Harlequins and Leicester Tigers stacked with talent in pick of the games on Saturday appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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