Preview: Premiership, Round 10

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 23:15
Large wasps v leicester 800

MIDLANDS DERBY: A mere six points separate five teams at the top of Premiership  Rugby so we are in for another unpredictable and unforgettable round of the competition this weekend.

Round 10 starts at Franklin’s Gardens, the two sides desperate for a win lock horns. After climbing towards the top of the table, both Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons have slipped down the standings after four league defeats on the bounce.

While Saturday sees a spectacular double-header.

Exeter Chiefs welcome Bath Rugby to Sandy Park having won their last eight matches in all competitions – but the omens are not all bad for Todd Blackadder’s side.

Bath are also a side in form with only one defeat - and that was by a point - in their last nine fixtures in all tournaments. When the two clubs met last season each side won away from home, and Bath have beaten Exeter on four previous occasions at Sandy Park in Premiership Rugby to boot.

Leicester Tigers travel to the Ricoh Arena to face Wasps for a blockbuster midlands derby.

Tigers’ six-game winning run in Premiership  Rugby ended at home to Worcester Warriors on Saturday, and while Leicester have won their last three away games in the competition, Wasps have beaten them on the last four occasions the two sides have met.

And last, but by no means least, the action does not cease on Sunday as Harlequins will tussle with Saracens at Twickenham Stoop.

We take a look at all the Round 10 action!

Friday, December 1

Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons
(Franklin’s Gardens - Kick-off: 19.45, 19.45 GMT)

Northampton Saints have lost their last four Premiership  Rugby fixtures but have not lost five in succession in the competition since 2011.

The Saints solitary defeat at Franklin’s Gardens since March in Premiership Rugby was against Wasps on 28 October in their most recent home game in the tournament.

Newcastle Falcons have also lost their last four Premiership  Rugby matches since beating London Irish 29-17 at Kingston Park on 29 September. Newcastle’s record away from home in all competitions this season is won four lost two.

Teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Juan Pablo Estelles, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Ben Foden, 10 James Grayson, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Alex Waller. 
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ahsee Tuala.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Will Welch (captain), 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Rob Vickers. 
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Sami Mavinga, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Will Witty, 20 Nili Latu, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Alex Tait.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Christophe Ridley & Simon McConnell.
TMO: David Grashoff.

Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
(Sixways - Kick-off: 19.45, 19.45 GMT)

Worcester Warriors have won their last two Premiership  Rugby matches, at home to Northampton and away at Leicester, but have not won three in a row since March 2016.

The Warriors only two victories at Sixways this season were against Brive in the European Challenge Cup, and 30-15 over Northampton in round 8 of Premiership Rugby.

Sale Sharks only loss in their last four first-team encounters was 27-35 at Leicester in round 8 of Premiership  Rugby. The Sharks have not won away from home in Premiership Rugby since a trip to Bristol in October 2016.

Sale have lost just once to Worcester since 2012 at Sixways 23-31 in Premiership Rugby in February 2016.

Teams:

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 David Denton, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan (captain), 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Ethan Waller. 
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 20 Pierce Phillips, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Dean Hammond.

Sale Sharks: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Jono Ross (captain), 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 George Nott, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Will Cliff 22 Mark Jennings, 23 Mike Haley.

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Jonathan Healy.
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Saturday, December 2

Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby
(Sandy Park - Kick-off: 14.00, 14.00 GMT)

Exeter Chiefs have won their last eight matches in all competitions since their 13-20 reversal at Leicester in Premiership  Rugby on 30 September.

The Chiefs have not been defeated at Sandy Park since Bordeaux were the visitors in the European Champions Cup on 11 December 2016.

Bath Rugby’s only defeat in their last nine fixtures in all tournaments was by the odd point in 43 at home to Gloucester in round 7 of Premiership  Rugby.

Bath’s record away from home this season is won five, lost one, with the defeat being on a visit to Northampton in round 3 of Premiership Rugby. When the two clubs met last season each side won it's respective away game.

Bath have beaten Exeter on four previous occasions at Sandy Park in Premiership Rugby, only Saracens have won more at the venue (five), whilst Leicester have also won there on four occasions.

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: TBC

Bath: TBC

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Peter Allan.
TMO: Claire Hodnett.

Gloucester Rugby v London Irish
(Kingsholm - Kick-off: 15.00, 15.00 GMT)

Gloucester Rugby have won their last four Premiership  Rugby matches since their loss at Sale at the end of September. The Cherry & Whites have not won five successive fixtures in the competition since 2011.

Gloucester have won all six home games they have played at Kingsholm in all tournaments this season. London Irish have won only once since the opening weekend: 44-7 at Stade Français in round 2 of the European Challenge Cup.

The Exiles have won only once away from home in Premiership Rugby since September 2014: on a trip to London Welsh in February 2015. London Irish beat Gloucester 23-18 at Madejski Stadium in March 2016 and have not won successive Premiership Rugby encounters against Gloucester since 2006.

London Irish’s only victory at Kingsholm since 2006 was 18-12 in Premiership Rugby in January 2013.

Teams:

Gloucester: TBC

London Irish: TBC

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Philip Watters.
TMO: Sean Davey.

Wasps v Leicester Tigers
(Ricoh Arena - Kick-off: 16.30, 16.30 GMT)  

Wasps only defeat in their last six first-team matches was 41-53 to Newcastle at Coventry in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 4 November.

Wasps have lost twice at the Ricoh Arena in Premiership  Rugby this season, to Harlequins in round 3 and to Bath in round 5.

Leicester Tigers six-game winning run in Premiership  Rugby ended at home to Worcester on Saturday. The Tigers have won their last three away games in the competition but have not won four in succession on the road in Premiership Rugby since March 2014.

Wasps have beaten Leicester the last four occasions that the two sides have met since Tigers 24-16 at Welford Road in November 2015. Tigers have visited the Ricoh Arena on four previous occasions, winning once, 26-21 in May 2015.

Teams:

Wasps: TBC

Leicester Tigers: TBC

Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Paul Dix
TMO: David Sainsbury.

Sunday 3 December

Harlequins v Saracens
(Twickenham Stoop - Kick-off: 15.00, 15.00 GMT)

Harlequins have slipped to back-to-back defeats on the road, to Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby.

‘Quins only defeat at Twickenham Stoop in their last five Premiership  Rugby fixtures was 28-31 to Leicester on 23 September. Saracens have lost their last four first-team matches – their worst run since 2010.

Saracens have won twice away from home in Premiership  Rugby this season, against Newcastle in Philadelphia, and Worcester. The two sides have already met in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season, Harlequins winning by the narrowest of margins at Allianz Park on 5 November.

In Premiership  Rugby, the last four clashes have been evenly split with two wins apiece. Saracens have lost on their last two visits to Twickenham Stoop.

Teams:

Harlequins: TBC

Saracens: TBC

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales & Roy Maybank.
TMO: Keith Lewis.

Source: @premrugby

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Mon, 19 February 2018
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Cape Town
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 16h30 Cape Town
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
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Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 15 11 0 4 53
Exeter Chiefs 15 10 0 5 52
Wasps 15 10 0 5 48
Gloucester 15 9 0 6 42
Newcastle Falcons 15 9 0 6 41
Bath 15 8 0 7 41
Leicester Tigers 15 8 0 7 37
Sale Sharks 14 7 0 7 37
Harlequins 15 6 0 9 32
Northampton Saints 15 6 0 9 30
Worcester Warriors 15 5 0 10 27
London Irish 15 1 0 14 11