Premiership: Anthony Watson and Handre Pollard set to make Leicester Tigers debuts against Saracens

David Skippers

The teams have been named for this weekend’s Premiership games, including a repeat of last season’s final between Saracens and Leicester Tigers at StoneX Stadium on Saturday.

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


Newcastle Falcons v Bristol Bears

Form: Newcastle Falcons have not been victorious in Premiership Rugby since beating Worcester Warriors 45-10 at Sixways on 2 April. The last time that the Falcons avoided defeat at Kingston Park in Premiership Rugby was in a 24-24 draw with Worcester last November. Top of the table Bristol Bears are one of only two teams who have started their Premiership Rugby season with three wins, the other being Exeter. Bears’ most recent defeat in the competition was 19-42 at Sale in Round 26 last season. Bristol won their only other away game this season at Wasps in Round Two and have not won successive matches on the road since May 2021. Bristol’s only defeat in their last six fixtures against Newcastle was 5-13 at Kingston Park last October.

Prediction: Bristol by 22

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Connor Collett, 6 Will Welch (c), 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Pete Lucock

Bristol: 15 Rich Lane, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Jack Bates, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Jake Heenan (c), 6 Chris Vui, 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Ed Holmes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Will Capon, 1 Jake Woolmore
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Sam Bedlow

Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Adam Leal, John Meredith
TMO: Andrew Jackson


London Irish v Bath

Form: London Irish have won just one of their last five Premiership Rugby fixtures: 45-14 at home to Worcester in Round One. The Exiles have lost just two of their last nine home fixtures in Premiership Rugby, to Northampton in March and Harlequins in April. Bath have lost their last four Premiership Rugby matches since beating London Irish 27-24 at the Recreation Ground in Round 25 last season. Bath’s most recent away success in Premiership Rugby was 30-25 at Newcastle at the end of February. Excluding unplayed matches, Bath have lost only once to London Irish in Premiership Rugby in the last decade: 33-36 at Gtech Community Stadium in March 2021.

Prediction: London Irish by 7

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Ben Donnell, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Caolan Englefield, 23 James Stokes

Bath: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Miles Reid, 6 GJ van Velze, 5 Josh McNally, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn (c), 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Wesley White, 21 Max Green, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ruaridh McConnochie

Venue: Gtech Community Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, James Clark
TMO: Claire Hodnett

Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs

Form: Sale Sharks have won their last five Premiership Rugby matches since their 12-18 reversal at home to Saracens on April 1. The Sharks have won their last four home games in all competitions since losing 9-10 to Bristol at Salford City Stadium in last season’s European Champions Cup. Exeter Chiefs have won their last four Premiership Rugby encounters since their 33-40 loss to Bristol at Ashton Gate in May. The Chiefs won their only other away game in Premiership Rugby this season, beating Worcester in Round Two, and have not won successive matches on their travels since February. Exeter have won their last four fixtures against Sale since the Sharks 25-20 win at Salford City Stadium in February 2021. The Chiefs have won on six of their last seven visits to Salford in all tournaments.

Prediction: Sale by 2

The teams:

Sale: 15 Joe Carpenter, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Ben Curry (c), 6 Tom Curry, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 James Harper, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Arron Reed

Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Rory O’Loughlin, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Stuart Townsend, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Daffyd Jenkins, 4 Jack Dunne, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Solomone Kata

Venue: Salford City Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Wayne Falla
TMO: David Rose

Saracens v Leicester Tigers

Form: Saracens have narrowly won both of their fixtures this season, at Harlequins in Round Two and at home to Gloucester last weekend. Saracens have lost just once at home in Premiership Rugby since September 2020 and that was by a single point to Gloucester in January 2022. Leicester Tigers’ only defeat in their last eight Premiership Rugby matches was 20-24 at Exeter in the opening round this season. The Tigers won their most recent away game at Northampton last weekend and have not won successive matches on their travels in Premiership Rugby since last December. The two clubs met on three occasions last season with each winning its respective home game but Leicester taking the Premiership Rugby Final 15-12 at Twickenham Stadium in June. Tigers have visited StoneX Stadium on nine previous occasions in Premiership Rugby and won just once: 28-20 in February 2018.

Prediction: Saracens by 3

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Theo McFarland, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Andy Christie, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Alex Goode, 23 Sean Maitland

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Phil Cokanasiga, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 George Martin, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Chris Ashton

Venue: StoneX Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, Greg Macdonald
TMO: Rowan Kitt


Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Form: Harlequins have won only one of their last five Premiership Rugby matches, 40-31 at Newcastle in Round One. The Londoners lost 27-30 to Saracens in their only home game in Premiership Rugby so far this season and have not lost successive fixtures at the Twickenham Stoop in the tournament since last November. Northampton Saints have won just two of their last six Premiership Rugby encounters, both at Franklin’s Gardens, against Newcastle in June and London Irish in September. Northampton have slipped to three successive defeats away from home in Premiership Rugby, their worst run on their travels since December 2020. Northampton’s 32-31 victory over Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens in April ended a four-game losing streak to the Londoners in Premiership Rugby. The Saints have lost on their last three visits to the Stoop in all tournaments since beating London Irish there 27-3 in August 2020, whilst their only victory there against Harlequins since 2016 was by a solitary point in April 2019.

Prediction: Harlequins by 6

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Luke Northmore, 12 Lennox Anyanwu, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Archie White, 7 Will Evans, 6 Jack Kenningham, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Jack Musk, 1 Joe Marler (c)
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 George Hammond, 20 Matas Jurevicius, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Nick David

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Alex Coles, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Alfie Petch, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Emmanuel Iyogun
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Oisín Heffernan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Sam Graham, 21 Tom James, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Ollie Sleightholme

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Joe James, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Dean Richards

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