Gallagher Premiership preview: Leicester Tigers look for best start since 1994; Maro Itoje back for Saracens | Rugby Union News


Gallagher Premiership 2021/22 Round 5: Sale vs Harlequins (Friday, 7.45pm); Worcester vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm); Newcastle vs Bristol (Saturday, 3pm); Wasps vs Exeter (Saturday, 3pm); Bath vs Saracens (Sunday, 3pm); London Irish vs Gloucester (Sunday, 3pm); Bye Week: Northampton Saints.

Last Updated: 15/10/21 4:42pm

Can Steve Borthwick lead Leicester to a best league start since 1994? Elsewhere, Maro Itoje is back for Saracens and Danny Cipriani is in for his Bath home debut

Can Steve Borthwick lead Leicester to a best league start since 1994? Elsewhere, Maro Itoje is back for Saracens and Danny Cipriani is in for his Bath home debut

We look at the form, stats and all the team news ahead of the weekend’s Gallagher Premiership action from across England.

Sale Sharks vs Harlequins (Friday, 7.45pm)

Ahead of Friday, Sale’s only win in their last six Premiership fixtures was a 20-19 victory at home vs Bath in Round 1 this season.

The Sharks tripped up in their most recent encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium losing 25-15 to Exeter, ending an eight-game winning run at their home venue.

Defending champions Harlequins have begun the season with maximum league points after their first three matches and have now won their last six games in succession since they last visited Sale on June 4.

Quins have won their last two away games too, which is their best sequence for 12 months.

The last five fixtures between the two clubs in the Premiership have all gone the way of home team advantage, whilst Harlequins have not been victorious at AJ Bell Stadium since a 25-23 victory in April 2015.

Worcester Warriors vs Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 3pm)

Worcester have slipped to three straight defeats in the Premiership since beating London Irish 36-24 at Sixways in Round 1 – Worcester’s only victory at Sixways in any tournament since November 21, 2020.

Leicester Tigers have won their last five Premiership encounters since losing 26-23 to Bristol at Welford Road on June 5. The Tigers have not won six in succession in the tournament since 2017, whilst they have not begun a league campaign with six wins out of six since in Division One in season 1994/95.

The Tigers have won their last three fixtures against the Warriors, with their 18-17 victory on their most recent trip to Sixways in May ending a run of three successive defeats at the venue in all competitions.

Newcastle Falcons vs Bristol Bears (Saturday, 3pm)

Newcastle Falcons’ record in Premiership Rugby this season is an even: won two, lost two. The Falcons have lost just one of their last five home games at Kingston Park: 26-20 to Harlequins in Round 1.

Bristol Bears’ only victory in their last five Premiership games was 25-20 success at home to Bath on October 1. The Bears have lost their last two away games in the Premiership and have not lost three in succession on their travels since 2018/19.

Bristol have won their last four encounters with Newcastle since the Falcons’ 39-27 victory at Ashton Gate in May 2017. The Bears have been victorious on their last two visits to Kingston Park and have never won three in a row at the venue.

Wasps vs Exeter Chiefs (Saturday, 3pm)

Wasps’ three games so far in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day. Wasps have lost just one of their last five matches played at Coventry Building Society Arena: a 38-31 reverse to Leicester on June 12.

Exeter have won their last two Premiership fixtures against Sale and Worcester since Northampton beat them at Sandy Park at the end of September.

The Chiefs’ only defeat in their last five away games was a 34-19 loss at Leicester in Round 1.

The last eight fixtures between the two clubs have been evenly split with four wins apiece, while Exeter have won just twice in their seven previous visits to play Wasps in Coventry, in December 2015 and September 2018.

Bath Rugby vs Saracens (Sunday, 3pm)

Bath have slipped to three successive Premiership defeats this season, although on each occasion they have earned a losing bonus point.

Bath’s only victory at the Recreation Ground in any competition since mid-April was a 30-24 win against Northampton in the Premiership on June 12.

Saracens have lost only one of their last four Premiership matches: 13-12 at Leicester in Round 3 this season. Saracens’ previous defeat away from home was on a trip to face Cornish Pirates in the RFU Championship in March 2021.

The last three meetings between the two clubs have been shared with one win apiece, plus a draw. Saracens won 25-12 on their most recent visit to Bath in November 2019 to end a three-game winning run by the home side at the venue.

London Irish vs Gloucester Rugby (Sunday, 3pm)

London Irish’s most recent victory in the Premiership was 36-33 against Bath at Brentford Community Stadium at the end of March.

The Exiles are without a win in their last five Premiership games at Brentford but in that time have secured two try bonus points and three losing bonus points.

Gloucester have won their last two Premiership matches after beginning the season with a pair of defeats. The Cherry & Whites won their most recent away game 31-23 at Worcester and have not won successive matches on their travels since April 2019.

The last four meetings between the two clubs have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Gloucester’s most recent success on Irish’s soil was 33-29 at Majeski Stadium in March 2018.





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