Freddie Burns showed England what they will be missing with a superb display in Gloucester's 27-21 win over Leicester.
Flyhalf Burns has been left out of the England squad for the November Tests, but he underlined his class with a 17-point haul, including a fine try, as he out-played Leicester's Toby Flood - his country's current No.10.
Gloucester have not suffered a Premiership defeat since Northampton beat them on the league season's opening weekend.
Bath survived the bizarre dismissal of centre Dan Hipkiss while he was in the sin-bin to beat west country rivals Exeter 23-15 at the Recreation Ground.
The Chiefs were outclassed in the first half as Bath ran in early tries by Ben Williams and Kyle Eastmond.
Exeter fought back after the break and had Bath on the ropes after Hipkiss was sin-binned in the 67th minute.
Hipkiss then clashed with Luke Arscott on the touchline as the Exeter fullback tried to field a Stephen Donald clearance, earning a needless dismissal in the process.
However, Donald scored in the last two minutes of normal time to give Bath the win.
In the day's other game Northampton's went down 16-6 to Saracens with England tight forward Dylan Hartley and Courtney Laws both suffering worrying knee injuries.
All the teams and scorers:
Gloucester 27-21 Leicester Tigers
Tries: Sharples, Burns, Qera
Cons: Burns 3
Pens: Burns 2
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Hamilton, penalty try
Pens: Flood 2
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (captain), 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Martyn Thomas, 23 Shane Monahan
Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (captain), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Thomas Waldrom, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Kevin Stewart
TMO: David Grashoff
Bath 23-15 Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Williams, Eastmond, Louw
Pens: Donald 2
Tries: Sturgess, Mieres
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Francois Louw (captain), 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Geoffrey Warren
Saracens 16-6 Northampton Saints
Pens: Myler, Lamb
Pens: Farrell 3
Northampton: 15 Stephen Myler, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ Van Velze, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Tom May, 23 Luther Burrell.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Alan Hughes
TMO: David John Hudson