Premiership, Round 13 - teams and predictions
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Bristol Bears, six-point leaders, open up Round 13, entertaining last season’s runners-up, Wasps on Friday.
The Bears are resurgent at the top of the table and haven’t tasted defeat since Round Eight, while Wasps will be itching to bounce back after last Saturday’s late defeat.
We have four games on Saturday.
It starts at Sandy Park and Kingston Park – where second-placed Exeter Chiefs take on Harlequins, who are third, and Newcastle Falcons entertain Bath.
Following that Sale Sharks make the trip to Franklin’s Gardens to face Northampton Saints and Gloucester host Steve Borthwick’s Leicester Tigers.
We’ve got a real Sunday treat to round off the weekend as London Irish welcome Worcester Warriors to the Brentford Community Stadium, with Declan Kidney’s men sitting just five points off the semifinal places.
All the Round 13 action below!
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Friday, March 12
Bristol Bears v Wasps
(Ashton Gate – Kick-off: 19.45; 19.45 GMT)
Bristol Bears are unbeaten in the last four rounds of Premiership since their home defeat to Sale on 5 February.
That defeat to the Sharks was Bristol’s only reversal at Ashton Gate in Premiership this season.
Wasps have won just once in their last six Premiership encounters: 17-13 at Worcester in Round Nine.
Wasps were defeated at Leicester in their most recent away game and have not lost successive matches on the road in Premiership since December 2019.
Wasps have won their last 11 Premiership fixtures against Bristol and are unbeaten in their last thirteen since the Bears 26-21 victory at Memorial Stadium in September 2006. Wasps have won on all three previous visits they have made to Ashton Gate.
@rugby365com: Bristol by 12 points
Bristol: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Siva Naulago, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Chris Vui, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Charlie Powell, 23 Toby Fricker.
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter, 8 Sione Vailanu, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Tom West.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Michael Le Bourgeois, 23 Matteo Minozzi.
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald & Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Rowan Kitt.
Saturday, March 13
Newcastle Falcons v Bath
(Kingston Park – Kick-off: 12.30; 12.30 GMT)
Newcastle Falcons have won just once since Round Six of Premiership: 25-22 at home to Harleqins on 27 February.
The Tynesiders only defeat at Kingston Park in Premiership this season was to Exeter in Round Eight.
Bath’s three-game Premiership winning run ended with their 16-38 defeat at home to Exeter on Saturday.
Bath have won their last two away games in the tournament, at Sale and at Northampton, and have not won three in succession on their travels since September.
The Falcons have lost just one of their last six encounters with Bath in Premiership: 13-30 at the Recreation Ground in February 2019.
Bath’s most recent victory at Kingston Park was 29-19 in April 2015.
@rugby365com: Newcastle by five points
Newcastle: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Alex Tait, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Callum Chick, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Mark Tampin, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Trevor Davison.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 John Hardie, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Joel Matavesi.
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Miles Reid, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Josh McNally (captain), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Ethan Staddon, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Peter Allan & Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher.
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins
(Sandy Park – Kick-off: 12.30; 12.30 GMT)
Exeter Chiefs record in the last eight rounds of Premiership is an even won four, lost four.
The Chiefs have lost two of their last three home games at Sandy Park.
Harlequins only defeat in the last seven rounds of Premiership was 22-25 at Newcastle on 20 February.
Harlequins have not lost successive away games in Premiership since August.
Exeter have lost only two of their last thirteen Premiership fixtures against Harlequins, both at the Twickenham Stoop in November 2018 and February 2020.
Harlequins were victorious on their most recent visit to Sandy Park for the semifinal of last season’s Premiership Cup but they have not won there in Premiership since May 2014.
@rugby365com: Exeter by 11 points
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Facundo Cordero, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (captain), 9 Stu Townsend, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Innard, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Sean Lonsdale, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Ollie Devoto.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Will Collier, 19 Glen Young, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Brett Herron, 23 Luke Northmore.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Phil Watters & Paul Dix
TMO: Luke Pearce
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks
(Franklin’s Gardens – Kick-off: 14.45; 14.45 GMT)
Northampton Saints have lost their last two Premiership matches, at home to Bath and away to Harlequins, and have not lost three in succession in the tournament since December.
The Saints only victory at Franklin’s Gardens in Premiership (excluding declared results) since December 2019 was against Worcester in December 2020.
Sale Sharks have won their last two Premiership matches, both at home to Exeter and Newcastle, they have not been victorious away from home since their trip to Bristol in Round Eight.
Sale have lost just once in their last seven fixtures against Northampton in Premiership, remarkably 17-67 at Franklin’s Gardens in February 2019.
The Sharks have not won back to back matches at Franklin’s Gardens since 2006.
@rugby365com: Sharks by five points
Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 James Grayson, 9 Tom James, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Lewis Ludlam (co-captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Alex Coles, 4 Alex Moon, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Reece Marshall, 1 Alex Waller (co-captain).
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 JJ Tonks, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Harry Mallinder.
Sale Sharks: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Arron Reed, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Dan Du Preez, 7 Jono Ross (captain), 6 Jean-Luc Du Preez, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Sam Dugdale, 21 Raffi Quirke, 22 Robert Du Preez, 23 Tom Roebuck.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson & Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Grashoff
Gloucester v Leicester Tigers
(Kingsholm – Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)
Gloucester have won their last two Premiership matches, at home to Worcester and away at Wasps, and have not won three in succession in the competition since April 2019.
Gloucester’s 22-14 victory against Worcester in Round 11 stopped a run of four successive Premiership defeats at Kingsholm.
Leicester Tigers last five matches in Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day.
The Tigers only away win in any competition this season (excluding declared results) was on a trip to Bayonne in the European Challenge Cup in December.
The Tigers have lost just one of their last four fixtures against Gloucester in Premiership: 30-46 on their most recent visit to Kingsholm in August.
Leicester have not been victorious at Kingsholm since September 2016.
@rugby365com: Gloucester by eight points
Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Tom Seabrook, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 George Barton, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Jack Stanley, 2 Santiago Socino, 1 Alex Seville.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Matt Banahan.
Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Kobus Van Wyk, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Zack Henry, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Luan de Bruin.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Tomás Lavanini, 20 Ollie Chessum, 21 Jack Van Poortvliet, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Guy Porter.
Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant referees: Simon McConnell & Sara Cox
TMO: Geoffrey Warren
Sunday, March 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors
(Brentford Community Stadium – Kick-off: 13.00; 13.00 GMT)
London Irish have won just once in the last four rounds of Premiership: 16-10 at Wasps on 27 February.
The Exiles are unbeaten in their last three matches played at Brentford Community Stadium.
Worcester Warriors three victories so far this season have all been in Premiership, 11-10 against London Irish in Round 1 and two declared wins against Harlequins and Newcastle.
The Warriors have won only once away from home in any competition since November 2019: 40-25 against today’s opponents at the Twickenham Stoop in September 2020.
The Warriors have lost only one of their last six fixtures against London Irish in Premiership: 9-22 at Madejski Stadium in February 2018.
@rugby365com: London Irish by nine points
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 (captain), 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 George Nott, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Will Joseph, 23 Tom Homer.
Worcester: 15 Nick David, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Howe, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Joe Batley, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ted Hill (captain), 5 Justin Clegg, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Tom Dodd, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Oli Morris.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace & Anthony Woodthorpe
TMO: Graham Hughes