Preview: Premiership, Round Eight
It will be a bottom-of-the-table clash when Sale Sharks take on London Irish to kick off the Premiership action on Friday.
Sale have not managed to win a game yet this season and have been disrupted further by uncertainty over the coaching staff, so they will be desperate to put together a good performance in front of their home crowd.
On Saturday Leicester Tigers entertain rivals Northampton Saints on Welford Road in what should be another hard-fought encounter whilst the pick of the action on Sunday sees Saracens take on London Wasps.
All the match details for Round Eight.
Friday, November 2
Sale Sharks v London Irish
(Salford City Stadium, Kick-off: 20.00)
Sale Sharks still await their first victory of the Premiership season, but at least doubled their tally of league points with their losing bonus point at Worcester last Friday.
London Irish lost with the last play of the game against Harlequins at Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
The Exiles’ most recent two away wins in the Premiership have both come at Sixways, prior to that
it was at Northampton on 17 September 2011.
The two sides each won their respective home game when they met last season, whilst Sale are going
for successive home wins over London Irish for the first time since 1999.
Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Cameron Shepherd, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Andy Powell 7 David Seymour (captain), 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Tom Brady
London Irish: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Chris Hala'ufia 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher (Captain), 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 George Skivington, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Steven Shingler, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates
Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Andrew Watson, Alan Hughes
Saturday, November 3
Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
(Welford Road, Kick-off: 14.15)
Leicester Tigers lost 21-27 at Gloucester on Saturday, but have not lost successive Premiership encounters since October last year.
Since September 2011 the Tigers have lost just two games at Welford Road –both to Harlequins.
Northampton Saints have slipped to back to back Premiership defeats for the first time since September 2011.
Leicester have won their last five fixtures with Northampton in all competitions, whilst the Saints only win at Welford Road since 2003 was 10-9 on 24 February 2007.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (captain), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Niall Morris, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Michael Noone, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Vereniki Goneva.
Northampton Saints: 15 Tom May 14 Ken Pisi 13 George Pisi 12 Dom Waldouck 11 Jamie Elliott 10 Ryan Lamb 9 Martin Roberts 8 GJ Van Velze 7 Phil Dowson (captain) 6 Calum Clark 5 Mark Sorenson 4 Samu Manoa 3 Brian Mujati 2 Mike Haywood 1 Soane Tonga'uiha
Replacements: 16 Ross Mcmillan 17 Alex Waller 18 Paul Doran Jones 19 Ben Nutley 20 Rhys Oakley 21 Alex Day 22 Luther Burrell 23 Vasily Artemyev.
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Gareth Copsey
Exeter Chiefs v Worcestor Warriors
(Sandy Park, Kick-off: 15.00)
Exeter Chiefs have suffered three successive defeats in all competitions. The Chiefs are the only side
who remain with a 100% home winning record in the Premiership this season.
Worcester Warriors have won their last three games in all competitions. The Warriors have won just once on the road in the Premiership since April 2009: 6-0 at London Wasps on New Year’s Day 2012.
Exeter have taken both previous Premiership encounters between the two clubs, whilst Worcester’s last win over Exeter was 25-14 at the County Ground in National One on 20 March 2004.
Exeter Chiefs: TBC
Worcestor Warriors: TBC
Referee: David Rose
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Ashley Rowden
Harlequins v Gloucester
(Twickenham Stoop, Kick-off: 17.15)
Defending Premiership champions Harlequins returned to the top of the table following their 31-28 victory at London Irish on Sunday.
Quins tripped up in their last game at the Stoop in the Premiership but have not lost successive home games at the venue in the tournament since May 2011.
Gloucester's only defeat so far this season came in the opening weekend at home to Northampton. The Cherry & Whites are the only unbeaten side away from home in the Premiership this season.
The last eleven encounters between the two clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Gloucester’s most recent victory at the Twickenham Stoop in the competition was 31-21 on 9 September 2006.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Seb Stegmann.
Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Mike Tindall (captain), 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Will James, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Dan Murphy
Replacements: 16 Tommaso d'Apice, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Molenaar, 23 Rob Cook.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Geoffrey Warren
Sunday, November 4
Saracens v London Wasps
(Vicarage Road, Kick-off: 14.00)
Saracens have lost only one game in any competition this season: 12-14 at Exeter in the Premiership on 23 September.
This is Sarries' first game at Vicarage Road since May, a venue where Saracens have been defeated just once in the Premiership since October 2010: 19-20 to Leicester on 19 February.
London Wasps have won four successive matches in all competitions, their best run since December 2010. Wasps have lost their last ten away games in the Premiership since they beat Worcester 14-12 at Sixways on 28 October 2011 – this represents their worst away run in Premiership history.
Each club won its respective “home” game when they met last season. Wasps’ only win at Vicarage Road since 2003 was 40-29 on 20 April 2008.
Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Matt Stevens.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Joe Maddock.
London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (captain), 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Zak Taulafo, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Phil Swainston, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 James Cannon, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Jonah Holmes, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Andrea Masi.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Kevin Stewart
TMO: David Grashoff
London Welsh v Bath
(Kassam Stadium, Kick-off: 15.00)
London Welsh have recorded three successive reversals in the Premiership, since their 29-19
victory at Sale in Round Four.
Bath have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, but have won just once
away from home in the Premiership since February: 24-23 at Worcester on 1 September.
The two clubs have not played a competitive match since The Exiles visited The Rec on 14 February
1987 for a John Player Cup 4th round tie, which Bath won 30-4.
London Welsh’s most recent victory over Bath in a competitive match was 28-18 in February 1979 at Old Deer Park in a first round cup tie.
London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Nick Scott, 13 Sonny Parker, 12. Gavin Henson, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Nick Runciman, 8 Lee Beach, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Jonathan Mills (captain), 5 Matt Corker, 4 Martin Purdy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17. Bill Moss, 18. Arthur Joly, 19. Adam Brown, 20. Mike Denbee, 21. Tyson Keats, 22. Seb Jewell, 23. James Lewis.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Will Skuse, 6 Stuart Hooper (captain), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Stuart Terheege