Premiership: Manu Tuilagi starts for Sale Sharks while Taulupe Faletau is back for Bath

Date published: February 11 2022 - David Skippers

The Premiership continues on Saturday and Sunday as four matches take place, including the clash between Saracens and champions Harlequins on Sunday.

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

Friday

Bristol Bears v London Irish

Form: Bristol Bears have won their last four first team matches, all with a try bonus point, since slipping up at Exeter in Premiership Rugby on New Year’s Day. Bristol have lost three matches at Ashton Gate this season, to Saracens in Round One, Northampton in Round 9 and Leicester in Round 11. London Irish’s last five matches have all been won by the home side on the day whilst the Exiles most recent away win was on a trip to Pau in the European Challenge Cup in December. Bristol have not been defeated by London Irish since a 21-38 score line at Madejski Stadium in Premiership Rugby in April 2009. Last season’s encounter between the two sides at Ashton Gate was not played with Bristol being awarded the victory. London Irish’s last win on Bristol soil was 18-13 at Memorial Stadium in November 2008.

Prediction: Bristol by 3

The teams:

Bristol: 15 Henry Purdy, 14 Siva Naulago, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Tom Whiteley, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Sam Jeffries, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Chris Vui, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Ashley Challenger, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Theo Strang, 22 Tiff Eden, 23 Antoine Frisch

London Irish: 15 Henry Arundell, 14 James Stokes, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps (c), 8 Sean O’Brien, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 George Nott, 20 Tom Pearson, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Curtis Rona, 23 Kyle Rowe

Venue: Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Joe James, Wayne Falla
TMO: Ian Tempest

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints

Form: Leicester Tigers‘ two-game losing run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 36-16 victory at home to Worcester on Saturday. The Tigers have not been defeated at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium since Bristol were the visitors in Premiership Rugby in June. Northampton Saints have won their last two Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures, both away from home, at Newcastle and at Worcester, gaining a try bonus point on each occasion. Tigers beat the Saints 55-26 at cinch Stadium in Round 7 and have not achieved a league double over their fiercest local rivals since 2016/17, however Northampton have won on four of their last five visits to Welford Road in all competitions.

Prediction: Leicester by 6

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 James Whitcombe
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 George Martin, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Matt Scott, 23 Chris Ashton

Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Fraser Dingwall (c), 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 George Furbank, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Conor Carey, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Karl Wilkins, 21 Tom James, 22 James Grayson, 23 Matt Proctor

Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Tom Foley

Saturday 

Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester

Form: Exeter Chiefs have lost their last three first team matches since beating Glasgow at Sandy Park in the European Champions Cup and have not lost four in succession since November 2016. The Chiefs have lost four of their seven home games in Premiership Rugby this season. Gloucester Rugby are the best team in Premiership Rugby on current form having obtained 24 league points from their last six matches. The Cherry and Whites only defeat in that sequence was 20-17 at home to Harlequins on January 2. Gloucester are unbeaten in their last six away games in Premiership Rugby – their best ever run of form away from home in the competition. Gloucester have won their last four away games in the tournament equalling their best such run set in 2002. Exeter’s only defeat in their last five Premiership Rugby fixtures with Gloucester was 34-18 at Kingsholm in March 2021 whilst Gloucester’s only victory at Sandy Park in any competition since January 2015 was in the European Champions Cup in December 2018.

Prediction: Gloucester by 3

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Sam Maunder, 8 Santiago Grondona, 7 Richard Capstick, 6 Don Armand, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Patrick Schickerling, 2 Jack Innard, 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Dave Ewers, 20 Ollie Leatherbarrow, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Facundo Cordero

Gloucester15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Santiago Carreras, 13 Giorgi Kveseladze, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Jamal Ford-Robinson
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Kirill Gotovtsev, 19 Andrew Davidson, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Tom Seabrook

Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Neil Chivers, Phil Watters
TMO: David Rose

Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors

Form: Sale Sharks have lost just one of their last four Premiership Rugby matches: 32-15 at Bristol in Round 13. The Sharks have lost just twice at AJ Bell Stadium in any tournament in the last 12 months, both in Premiership Rugby, to Bath exactly a year ago and to Exeter in October. Worcester Warriors have lost their last four Premiership Rugby matches since beating Wasps 32-31 at Sixways on December 4. Excluding unplayed matches, Worcester’s only victory on the road in Premiership Rugby since March 2019 was on a visit to London Irish in September 2020. Worcester beat Sale 27-14 at Sixways in Round Seven and have never achieved a season’s double over the Sharks if you exclude 2019/20 when Worcester won at Sixways and were awarded the victory at Sale. Worcester have played nine previous times at AJ Bell Stadium in all competitions and lost them all.

Prediction: Sale by 25

The teams:

Sale: 15 Sam James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Rob du Preez, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Aaron Reed, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Jono Ross (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Curtis Langdon, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Joe Jones, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Raffi Quirke, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Byron McGuigan

Worcester: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Alex Hearle, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Howe, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ted Hill (c), 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Matt Garvey, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Murray McCallum
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Kyle Hatherell, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Seb Atkinson

Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: Mike Hudson, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Wasps v Bath

Form: Wasps have won their last three Premiership Rugby matches and have not won four in succession since October 2020. Wasps have won their last four first team matches at the Coventry Building Society Arena since Munster beat them there in the European Champions Cup in December. Bath’s two game winning run in Premiership Rugby ended with their 40-3 reversal at Saracens on Saturday. Excluding unplayed fixtures, Bath’s most recent away win in Premiership Rugby was on a visit to Newcastle in March 2021. Wasps have won their last five fixtures against Bath, their best ever sequence against them in Premiership Rugby whilst Bath’s most recent victory in Coventry was 24-14 in Premiership Rugby in December 2018.

Prediction: Wasps by 10

The teams:

Wasps15 Rob Miller, 14 Paolo Odogwu, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ben Morris, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Robin Hislop
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Will Porter, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Marcus Watson

Bath15 Tom Prydie, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Jaco Coetzee, 6 Taulupe Faletau, 5 Josh McNally (c), 4 Ewan Richards, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Valery Morozov
Replacements:
16 Tom Doughty, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 Josh Dingley, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Max Clark, 23 Tom de Glanville

Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Rob Warburton
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Sunday

Saracens v Harlequins

Form: Premiership Rugby’s top two try scoring sides clash at StoneX Stadium. Saracens’ two-game losing run in Premiership Rugby ended with their 40-3 home victory over Bath on Saturday. Saracens have lost only once at StoneX Stadium in Premiership Rugby since September 2020: 24-25 to Gloucester on January 8. Harlequins have lost their last two Premiership Rugby matches, at Bath and at home to Sale, and have not lost three in succession in the competition since April 2019. Harlequins have won three times away from home in Premiership Rugby this season, at Newcastle in Round One, Wasps in Round Eight, and Gloucester in Round 12. Saracens’ only defeat in their last six fixtures with Harlequins in Premiership Rugby was 41-14 at the Twickenham Stoop in January 2020. Harlequins’ only victory in seven previous visits to StoneX Stadium in all tournaments was 30-29 in the Anglo Welsh Cup in November 2017.

Prediction:

The teams: Saracens by 5

Saracens15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Dom Morris, 11 Rotimi Segun, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Theo McFarland, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 1 Mako Vunipola (c)
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Andy Christie, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Josh Hallett, 23 Alex Lewington

Harlequins15 Tyrone Green, 14 Oscar Beard, 13 Luke Northmore, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Danny Care, 8 Archie White, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Matas Jurevicius, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Jack Walker(c), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley,17 Jordan Els, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Viliami Taulani, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Louis Lynagh

Venue: StoneX Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Nick Wood, Paul Dix
TMO: Stuart Terheege

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