Lood de Jager returns to Sale 23 for huge top-four clash

Date published: February 19 2021

The Premiership continues on Saturday and Sunday as four matches take place, including the top-four encounter between Harlequins and Sale Sharks.

We bring you all of the team line-ups but, for Planet Rugby’s preview of this weekend’s Premiership action, check out ‘The short side’.


Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Form: Harlequins have won their last three Premiership Rugby encounters since their 27-all draw with London Irish on 10 January. The Londoners beat Leicester at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday and have not won successive fixtures at the venue since last August. Sale Sharks’ four-game winning run in the Premiership ended with their 22-27 home reversal to Bath last Friday. The Sharks have lost only once away from home in the league since August: 13-15 at Newcastle in Round 2 this season. The last 10 encounters between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Sale’s most recent victory at the Stoop in the tournament was in November 2014.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 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 Archie White, 5 Stephan Lewies (c), 4 Matt Symons, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Glen Young, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Brett Herron, 23 Luke Northmore

Sale: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Luke James, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jono Ross (c), 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 Josh Beaumont, 4 Matt Postlethwaite, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Valery Morozov
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Cameron Neild, 22 Raffi Quirke, 23 Conor Doherty

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Simon Harding, Simon McConnell
TMO: David Grashoff

Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Form: Exeter Chiefs have won their last three Premiership Rugby fixtures since their 7-20 reversal at home to Bristol on 9 January. The Chiefs’ only other home defeat at Sandy Park in any competition in the last 12 months was to London Irish in Round 21 of the Premiership last season. Northampton Saints were declared victors for their Round 9 fixture at home to Newcastle last weekend, making it three straight wins in the competition. The Saints have won all three away games they have played in 2021, a declared victory at London Irish plus wins at Gloucester and at Wasps in Rounds seven and eight. Exeter have lost just once in their last 10 meetings with the Saints in all competitions: 28-31 at Franklin’s Gardens in December 2018. The Saints have not won at Sandy Park since a 17-16 victory in the league in February 2014.

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tom O’Flaherty, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Josh Hodge, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Richard Capstick, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Will Witty, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Don Armand, 20 Sean Lonsdale, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Ian Whitten

Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 George Furbank, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Shaun Adendorff, 7 Lewis Ludlam (cc), 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller (cc)
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Harry Mallinder, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Dean Richards, Phil Watters
TMO: Keith Lewis

Leicester Tigers v Wasps

Form: Leicester Tigers’ only victory in the last three Rounds of Premiership Rugby was 41-24 at home to Worcester on 6 February. The Tigers’ solitary defeat at Welford Road since early December was 15-25 to Sale on 29 January. Wasps ended a two-game losing run with their 17-13 win at Worcester on Sunday. Wasps have lost just once away from home in any competition in the last 12 months: 24-40 at Gloucester in Round 2 of the Premiership this season. The last eight fixtures between the two clubs in the league have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Wasps’ only victory at Welford Road since September 2008 was in September 2016.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Zack Henry, 9 Richard Wigglesworth (c), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Calum Green, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Luan de Bruin
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Dan Kelly

Wasps: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Ben Vellacott, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Ben Morris, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Tom West
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Alex Schwarz, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Michael Le Bourgeois

Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace, John Meredith
TMO: Claire Hodnett


London Irish v Bristol Bears

Form: London Irish‘s three-match unbeaten run in Premiership Rugby ended with their 3-26 defeat at Exeter on Saturday. The Exiles have won their last two home games at their new stadium and have not won three in succession at home since they were at Madejski Stadium in February 2016. Bristol Bears have lost just once since the opening round of Premiership Rugby: 13-20 at home to Sale on 5 February. The Bears have not lost away from home since their trip to Wasps on 22 November. The last three meetings between the clubs in the league have been evenly split with a win apiece plus a draw.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 James Stokes, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 5 George Nott, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Matt Cornish, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Terrence Hepetema, 23 Tom Parton

Bristol: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Siva Naulago, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 5 Chris Vui, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 John Afoa, 2 Will Capon, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 George Kloska, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Alapati Leiua

Venue: Brentford Community Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Ian Tempest