The 2020/2021 Premiership season enters its 14the Round his weekend with some interesting fixtures.
Newcastle Falcons and Wasps kick off the round on Friday. Both sides are looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend, with Wasps knowing they will leapfrog their hosts if they leave the north-east with a victory.
There are three games on Saturday.
Harlequins attempt to get back to winning ways against Gloucester, who have not won at Twickenham Stoop since 2006.
Further west, Bath welcome Worcester Warriors to The Rec looking to continue a resurgence which has so far brought four wins in five games.
Half an hour after those games begin, Exeter Chiefs against Leicester Tigers gets underway at Sandy Park.
The Devonians have won the last six matches between the two sides but Leicester make the trip buoyed by their first Premiership away win in almost two years last time out.
▲A Sunday double-header concludes another busy weekend, with league leaders Bristol Bears making the trip to Northampton Saints.
The match is at Franklin’s Gardens, where the Bears have won on their past two visits.
Meanwhile, Sale Sharks host a London Irish side who were in determined mood last weekend – their total of 272 tackles was the fourth-highest recorded by a Premiership side since 2010/11, with Blair Cowan making a record-equalling 34 of those.
FIXTURES AND TEAMS
NEWCASTLE FALCONS vs WASPS, Kingston Park 19:45,
Newcastle Falcons solitary victory since early January was 25-22 at home to Harlequins in Round 11 of the Premiership. The Falcons have lost two of their last three encounters at Kingston Park.
Wasps have won only once since early January: 17-13 at Worcester in Round Nine of the Premiership. Wasps have lost their last two away games in the competition and have not lost three in succession on their travels since November 2019.
The Falcons have won their last two matches against Wasps to put an end to an eleven-game winless streak against the West Midlander’s in the Premiership. Remarkably Wasps are unbeaten on their last six trips to Kingston Park since their 10-15 defeat there in October 2011.
Newcastle Falcons –
15 Tom Penny, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Will Welch, 6 Sean Robinson, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Trevor Davison. Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Will Montgomery, 20 Callum Chick, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Alex Tait.
15 Rob Miller, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Sam Wolstenholme, 8 Sione Vailanu, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ben Harris. Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Theo Vukasinovic, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Matteo Minozzi.
HARLEQUINS vs GLOUCESTER, Twickenham 14:00
Harlequins have been defeated just twice in the last eight rounds of the Premiership but both of those have been in their last three matches. The Londoners have won their last three Premiership fixtures at the Twickenham Stoop their best run at the venue since February 2019.
Gloucester’s two-game winning run ended with their home defeat to Leicester on Saturday. Gloucester were victorious in their most recent away game, 20-19 at Wasps in Round 12 and have not won successive away games in Premiership since April 2019.
Harlequins have won their last three encounters with Gloucester in the Premiership and have not won four in succession against the Cherry & Whites in the competition since 1999. Gloucester’s only victory at the Stoop in the Premiership since 2006 was 29-7 in March 2019.
BATH vs WORCESTER WARRIORS, The Recreation Ground, 14:00
Bath’s only defeat in the last five rounds of the Premiership was 15-38 at home to Exeter Chiefs on March 6. Excluding declared wins, Bath have been victorious at the Recreation Ground only once since September: 16-14 over Gloucester on February 19.
Worcester Warriors have picked up five losing bonus points from their last seven defeats in the Premiership. The Warriors have won only twice away from home in the Premiership since March 2019 and both of those victories were at the Twickenham Stoop against Harlequins and London Irish.
Bath’s only loss in their last seven fixtures with Worcester in the Premiership was 19-21 at Sixways in January 2019. Worcester have never won in 16 previous visits to the Rec in all competitions.
Worcester Warriors: TBC
EXETER CHIEFS vs LEICESTER TIGERS, Sandy Park, 14:30
Exeter Chiefs have been defeated just twice in the last seven rounds of the Premiership, both in successive games in February, at home to Northampton and away to Sale.
The Chiefs have lost twice at Sandy Park this campaign to Bristol in Round Six and the Saints in Round 10.
Leicester Tigers only loss in the last four rounds of the Premiership was 3-17 at Bristol on February 27. The Tigers won away from home for the first time in almost two years in the Premiership at Gloucester last weekend and have not won successive away games in the tournament since May 2018.
Exeter have won their last six fixtures against the Tigers in the Premiership since Leicester’s 20-13 home win in September 2017. Tigers have not been victorious at Sandy Park since September 2014.
Exeter Chiefs: TBC
Leicester Tigers: TBC
Sunday, March 21:
SALE SHARKS vs LONDON IRISH, AJ Bell Stadium, 15:00
Sale Sharks last four fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day. The Sharks have lost just once at AJ Bell Stadium since the turn of the year:
London Irish have lost just once in the last four rounds of the Premiership and that was by a solitary point at Leicester on March 5. The Exiles only victory away from home in the Premiership his campaign was 16-10 at Wasps on February 27.
The Sharks have won their last seven encounters with London Irish in the Premiership since the Exiles 25-23 win at Madejski Stadium in April 2015. London Irish have lost on all seven previous occasions they have visited AJ Bell Stadium.
Sale Sharks: TBC
London Irish: TBC
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs BRISTOL BEARS, Franklin’s Gardens, 15:00
Northampton Saints have lost only twice in the last seven rounds of the Premiership, at home to Bath in Round 11 and away at Harlequins in Round 12. Excluding declared results, the Saints have lost just once at Franklin’s Gardens in the Premiership since November and that was by a single point to Bath on February 28.
Bristol Bears are unbeaten in the last five rounds of the Premiership since their 13-20 reversal at home to Sale on February 5. Bristol have lost just three times away from home in any competition since the end of August and all those defeats were against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.
The Bears have won their last four encounters with the Saints, their best run against the East Midlander’s in competition rugby. Bristol have won on their last two visits to Franklin’s Gardens.
Northampton Saints: TBC
Bristol Bears: TBC