Premiership: Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje start as Saracens go in fully-loaded against Harlequins

Colin Newboult

The Premiership continues on Saturday and Sunday as all six matches are scheduled to take place, including the massive London clash between Harlequins and Saracens.

Here are the teams and predictions for this weekend’s action in England’s top-tier.


Northampton Saints v London Irish

Form: Northampton Saints’ only victory in their last four Premiership Rugby matches was 65-26 at home to Newcastle Falcons on 4 June. The Saints have won their last five matches at cinch Stadium in all competitions since Exeter Chiefs beat them there in Round 18 of Premiership Rugby at the end of February. London Irish have lost just one of their last four Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures: 24-27 at Bath on 21 May. The Exiles have won just twice away from home in Premiership Rugby in 2022, at Bristol in February and at Newcastle in April. The last time that London Irish began a Premiership campaign with a pair of victories was in 2001/02. Northampton have lost to London Irish just once in Premiership Rugby since 2015: 16-20 at cinch Stadium in January 2020. The Exiles have won just twice at Franklin’s Gardens in Premiership Rugby since 2004.

Prediction: Northampton by 7

The teams:

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar (c), 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 6 Alex Coles, 5 Alex Moon, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Brandon Nansen, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Tom Litchfield, 23 Courtnall Skosan

London Irish: 15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Matt Rogerson, 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Ben Donnell, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Matt Cornish, 1 Facundo Gigena
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Caolan Englefield, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Will Joseph

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 14:00 BST (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson, John Meredith

Bath v Sale Sharks

Form: Bath Rugby have won just once in Gallagher Premiership Rugby since early March: 27-24 at home to London Irish on 21 May. Bath’s home record in Premiership Rugby in 2022 is won four, drawn one, lost two. Sale Sharks have lost just once in their last six Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches: 12-18 at home to Saracens on 1 April. Sale’s only defeat away from home in Premiership Rugby since January was 12-19 at Exeter in Round 19 last season. Bath have not beaten Sale since they visited Salford City Stadium in February 2021, although the two clubs did draw 24-all in this corresponding fixture at the Recreation Ground in March. The Sharks’ only success in Bath since 2014 was 24-20 in May 2021.

Prediction: Bath by 3

The teams:

Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Will Muir, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Ben Spencer (c), 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Wesley White, 6 Josh Bayliss, 5 Josh McNally, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Lewis Boyce
Replacements: 16 Tom Doughty, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Will Spencer, 20 GJ van Velze, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Richard de Carpentier

Sale: 15 Luke James, 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 Jean-Luc du Preez, 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 Jono Ross, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Arron Reed

Venue: The Rec
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: David Rose

Harlequins v Saracens

Form: Harlequins have won just two of their last five Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches, against Gloucester at Twickenham Stadium in May and Newcastle at Kingston Park last weekend. Harlequins have won their last four home games in Premiership Rugby since their 14-36 defeat to Sale on 6 February. Saracens have lost two of their last three matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby but have won three of their last four away games in the tournament. Saracens’ only defeat to Harlequins in their last eight encounters in Premiership Rugby was 14-41 at the Twickenham Stoop in January 2020. Saracens have won on four of their last five visits to the Stoop in all competitions.

Prediction: Saracens by 10

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Luke Northmore, 12 Lennox Anyanwu, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Lewis Gjaltema, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 Jack Kenningham, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 George Hammond, 3 Will Collier, 2 George Head, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Simon Kerrod, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Dino Lamb, 20 Archie White, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Hayden Hyde

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 Maro Itoje, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Andy Christie, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Duncan Taylor

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons

Form: Leicester Tigers’ five-game winning run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 20-24 reversal at Exeter on Saturday. The Tigers have won their last thirteen home games in Premiership Rugby since Bristol beat them at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on 5 June 2021 (their best run at home in the competition since 2010). Newcastle Falcons have lost their last five Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches since beating Worcester 45-10 at Sixways on 2 April. The Falcons won twice more on the road last season in Premiership Rugby, at Bath in Round 2 and at Exeter in Round 8. Newcastle’s only “win” against Leicester in Premiership Rugby since 2018 was a declared victory on Boxing Day 2020. The Falcons have won just once at Welford Road since 1997: 25-23 in Premiership Rugby in April 2018.

Prediction: Leicester by 18

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Ollie Chessum, 6 George Martin, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Olly Cracknell, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Phil Cokanasiga, 23 Kini Murimurivalu

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Jamie Blamire, 6 Will Welch (c), 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Phil Brantingham
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Mateo Carreras

Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald, Wayne Falla
TMO: Sara Cox

Wasps v Bristol Bears

Form: Wasps are without a win in their last four Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures since beating Worcester 41-12 at Coventry Building Society Arena on 23 April. Wasps lost their most recent home game 7-16 to Sale in Round 25 last season, ending an eight-game home winning run in all competitions. Bristol Bears’ last seven Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day. The Bears have lost their last eight away games in Premiership Rugby since beating London Irish at Gtech Community Stadium on 30 October. Bristol have won two of their last three Premiership fixtures against Wasps ending a sequence of eleven successive Wasps victories in the fixture. The Bears have lost on all six previous visits they have made to Coventry Building Society Arena in Premiership Rugby but did win there 30-19 in the Premiership Rugby Cup in November 2018.

Prediction: Wasps by 3

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Will Porter, 8 Alfie Barbeary, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Tom Willis, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 John Ryan, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Robin Hislop
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Tom West, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Tim Cardall, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Will Haydon-Wood

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

Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: George Selwood, James Clarke
TMO: Rowan Kitt


Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs

Form: Worcester Warriors have won only one of their last six Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches: 43-27 at home to Bath on 4 June. Exeter Chiefs have won their last two Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches since their 33-40 defeat at Bristol on 20 May. The Chiefs have lost their last four away games in all competitions since their 34-31 victory at Northampton in Round 18 last season. Worcester beat Exeter 35-31 at Sixways in March, only their second ever victory over the Devonians in Premiership Rugby, the other was at Sandy Park in February 2018.

Prediction: Exeter by 15

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter (c), 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Gareth Simpson, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Cameron Neild, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Curtis Langdon, 1 Valeriy Morozov
16 Hame Faiva, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Noah Heward

Exeter: 15 Joe Simmonds, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Stuart Townsend, 8 Richard Capstick, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Jack Dunne, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Alec Hepburn
16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Scickerling, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Solomone Kata, 23 Facundo Cordero

Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, Peter Allan
TMO: Claire Hodnett

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