Premiership: Kyle Sinckler returns for Bristol Bears while Danny Care starts for Harlequins against Sale Sharks

The line-ups have been confirmed for this weekend’s Premiership games, including the encounter between third-placed Harlequins and Sale Sharks, who are second, at Twickenham Stoop on Sunday.

Check out the teams and our predictions for all of the weekend’s matches, here.


Gloucester v Saracens

Form: Gloucester have won two of their last three Premiership Rugby fixtures beating Northampton and London Irish at Kingsholm. Gloucester’s solitary defeat at Kingsholm in any tournament since May was 21-27 to Newcastle in Round 10 of Premiership Rugby. Saracens’ only defeat in Premiership Rugby since last season’s final was on December 23 at London Irish. Saracens have not lost successive away games in Premiership Rugby since February. The last four fixtures between the two clubs, since George Skivington took over as head coach of Gloucester, have been evenly split with two wins apiece. Gloucester have lost just once to Saracens at Kingsholm since 2015: 12-21 in November 2019.

Prediction: Saracens by 5

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Jonny May, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Giorgi Kveseladze, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Seb Blake, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Tom Seabrook

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Andy Christie, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Josh Hallett, 23 Rotimi Segun

Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, James Clarke
TMO: Claire Hodnett


Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers

Form: Newcastle Falcons have won three of their last five Premiership Rugby matches but both defeats have been in the space of the last three rounds. The Falcons have won their last two home games in Premiership Rugby, against Exeter and Sale, and have not won three in succession in the tournament at Kingston Park since June 2021. Leicester Tigers’ six-game unbeaten run in all tournaments ended with their 40-5 reversal at Sale on Friday. The Tigers have not won away from home in Premiership Rugby since beating Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop in mid-October. Excluding Newcastle’s declared win on Boxing Day 2020, the Falcons have not beaten the Tigers in Premiership Rugby since a 25-23 win at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in April 2018. Leicester’s most recent defeat at Kingston Park in Premiership Rugby was in February 2016.

Prediction: Leicester by 4

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Tom Penny (c), 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Callum Chick, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Adam Brocklebank
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Michael Young, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Elliott Obatoyinbo

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Harry Simmons, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Ollie Chessum, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Emeka Ilione, 21 Sean Jansen, 22 Jack van Poortvliet, 23 Jimmy Gopperth

Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace, Wayne Falla
TMO: Andrew Jackson

Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Form: Exeter Chiefs’ five-game winning run in all competitions ended with their 35-3 defeat at Saracens on New Year’s Eve. The Chiefs’ solitary defeat at Sandy Park in any tournament since March was 22-20 to Saracens in Round 7 of Premiership Rugby. Northampton Saints’ last seven matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. The Saints have won just once on the road in Premiership Rugby since April: 40-36 at Wasps on 9 October. The last six encounters between the two clubs have been evenly split with three wins each whilst the Saints have won on their last two visits to Sandy Park. Northampton beat Exeter 26-19 at cinch Stadium in November and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Devonians since 2013/14.

Prediction: Exeter by 10

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Sam Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jack Dunne, 4 Dafydd Jenkins, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Lukę Cowan-Dickie (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 James Kenny, 18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Greg Fisilau, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Rory O’Loughlin

Northampton: 15 Tommy Freeman, 14 James Ramm, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 George Furbank, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Lewis Ludlam (c), 7 Angus Scott-Young, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Alex Moon, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Karl Wilkins, 20 Sam Graham, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Tom Collins

Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 16:30 GMT
Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant referees: Charlie Gayther, John Meredith
TMO: Stuart Terheege


Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Form: Harlequins have slipped to back-to-back defeats in Premiership Rugby, at home to Bristol and away at Northampton, and have not lost three in succession in the tournament since February. Quins have not lost consecutive Premiership Rugby fixtures at Twickenham Stoop since November 2021. Sale Sharks’ only loss in their last four Premiership Rugby matches was 20-14 at Newcastle on December 23. The Sharks have not been victorious away from home in any competition since beating Leicester Tigers 26-16 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on October 8. Harlequins beat Sale 29-13 at Salford City Stadium in October and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Northerners since 2013/14. The Sharks won on both of their visits to the Stoop last season, 36-14 in Premiership Rugby and 34-29 in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Prediction: Sale by 3

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Nick David, 14 Cadan Murley, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Archie White, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 George Hammond, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Fin Baxter
Replacements: 16 Jack Musk, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Oscar Beard

Sale: 15 Luke James, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Sam James, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Ben Curry (c), 6 Tom Curry, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 James Harper, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Nye Thomas, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Joe Carpenter

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Rowan Kitt

London Irish v Bristol Bears

Form: London Irish have won just twice in Premiership Rugby since early October but have at least picked up losing bonus points in their last five defeats. The Exiles only reversal at Gtech Community Stadium in Premiership Rugby since April was by a solitary point to Gloucester in Round 7. Bristol Bears have won their last three first team matches, beating Perpignan and Zebre in the European Challenge Cup and Harlequins in Premiership Rugby. The Bears have not won successive away games in Premiership Rugby since May 2021. Bristol have lost just once to London Irish in Premiership Rugby since 2009: 49-32 at Ashton Gate last February. The Bears are unbeaten at Brentford, having drawn there 34-34 in February 2021 and won 45-33 the following October.

Prediction: London Irish by 5

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Matt Rogerson, 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Josh Basham, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Chunya Munga, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Rory Jennings

Bristol: 15 Noah Heward, 14 Toby Fricker, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Ioan Lloyd, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 5 Chris Vui, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Joe Joyce), 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Jack Bates

Venue: Gtech Community Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: David Rose

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