International stars return for Premiership resumption

Date published: November 25 2021 - Planet Rugby

There are four matches scheduled to take place on Friday in the Premiership with Bath, Bristol Bears, Newcastle Falcons and Wasps hosting Exeter Chiefs, Northampton Saints, Worcester Warriors and Gloucester respectively.

Check on all the team news while we also predict the results of the games.

Bath v Exeter Chiefs

Form: Bath Rugby’s most recent victory in Premiership Rugby was 30-24 at home to Northampton in Round 22 last season. That was Bath’s only victory at the Recreation Ground in Premiership Rugby since April. Curiously, Exeter Chiefs’ last four games in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the away side on the day. The Chiefs have lost only one of their last seven away games in Premiership Rugby: 34-19 at Leicester on the opening weekend. Exeter’s only loss in their last 10 meetings with Bath in Premiership Rugby was 13-10 at the Rec in October 2019. The Chiefs have won on for of their last five visits to Bath.

Prediction: Exeter Chiefs by 15

The teams:

Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Miles Reid, 5 Charlie Ewels (c), 4 Josh McNally, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Lewis Boyce
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Ruaridh McConnochie

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Don Armand, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Tom Hendrickson

Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Bristol Bears v Northampton Saints

Form: Bristol Bears gained only one win from their first five matches in this season’s Premiership Rugby but have followed this with a pair of victories, at London Irish and at home to Worcester. The Bears have won their last two home games at Ashton Gate and have not won three in succession at the venue since March. Northampton Saints’ only victory in their last four Premiership Rugby encounters was 66-10 at home to Worcester in Round Six. Northampton have won only once away from home in Premiership Rugby since April: 26-24 at Exeter on 25 September. The Bears have won their last five Premiership Rugby fixtures against the Saints since Northampton’s 45-40 victory at Ashton Gate in September 2018.

Prediction: Northampton Saints by 3

The teams:

Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Toby Fricker, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Jake Heenan (c), 6 Sam Jeffries, 5 Chris Vui, 4 Joe Joyce, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Jake Kerr, 1 Jake Woolmore
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 George Kloska, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Sam Bedlow, 23 Niyi Adeolokun

Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alex Moon, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Paul Hill, 2 James Fish, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Conor Carey, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Karl Wilkins, 21 Tom James, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Josh Gillespie

Venue: Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Kark Dickson
Assistant Referees: Philip Watters, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Ian Tempest

Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

Form: Newcastle Falcons’ record this year in Premiership Rugby is won four, lost three, although their most recent try bonus point was secured in the 54-26 defeat at Harlequins in Round 22 last season. The Falcons have lost just one of their last six home games in Premiership Rugby: 26-20 to Harlequins on 19 September. Worcester Warriors have won just one of their last seven Premiership Rugby matches: 27-14 at home to Sale on 30 October. The Warriors have won just once on their travels in any competition since November 2019: 40-25 against London Irish at the Twickenham Stoop in September 2020. The Falcons have won their last three Premiership Rugby encounters with Worcester, excluding the unplayed match at Sixways in February. The Warriors have been defeated on their last four visits to Kingston Park since their narrow 15-14 victory in March 2016.

Prediction: Newcastle Falcons by 7

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Callum Chick, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Tom Penny

Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Francois Venter (cc), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson, 8 Sione Vailanu, 7 Ted Hill (cc), 6 Kyle Hatherell, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 4 Matt Garvey, 3 Jay Tyack, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ethan Waller
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Oli Morris

Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Jamie Leahy, Hamish Smales
TMO: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Wasps v Gloucester

Form: Three of the last four Premiership Rugby matches Wasps have played have all gone in favour of the away side. Wasps have lost their last three encounters at the Coventry Building Society Arena, their worst run at the venue since April. Gloucester’s 16-13 reversal at home to Exeter on 29 October ended a four-game unbeaten run in the competition. Gloucester have won only once away from home since early May: 31-23 at Worcester in Round Three of Premiership Rugby. Gloucester have lost just one of their last seven fixtures against Wasps in Premiership Rugby: 39-22 at Coventry in March 2020. The Cherry and Whites have won on two of their last three visits to Wasps’ home.

Prediction: Wasps by 5

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Josh Bassett, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Robin Hislop
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Alfie Barbeary, 22 Francois Hougaard, 23 Jimmy Gopperth

Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Jack Clement, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Freddie Clarke, 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Freddie Thomas, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Giorgi Kveseladze, 23 Lloyd Evans

Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Paul Dix
TMO: David Rose