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Champions Harlequins will be out to extend their unbeaten start to the English Premiership when they take on Sale Sharks this weekend. Quins currently head the standings after two rounds, but with five teams still unbeaten there is plenty of pressure to continue their winning ways.


The big clash of the weekend sees Saracens and Leicester Tigers do battle at Wembley, but that could well be matched by the clash between Bath and Northampton Saints on Frday night.

We look at all the Round Three action:

Friday, September 14

Bath v Northampton Saints
(The Recreation Ground, Kick-off: 19.45; 18.45 GMT)

Northampton centre Dominic Waldouck knows he and his teammates will have their work cut out for them when they travel to the Rec for their clash with Bath on Friday night.

Saints have begun the season with a pair of wins for the first time since the 2004/5 campaign and with three victories from their last three regular season away games confidence should be high.

But Bath have also started the season with a 100 percent record including a 30-23 win over Wasps on home soil last weekend.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Simon Taylor, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (captain), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Dom Waldouck, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey Andrew Pearce
TMO: David Grashoff

Saturday, September 15

Worcestor Warriors v Gloucester
(Sixways, Kick-off: 13.30; 12.30 GMT)

Jim Hamilton has called on his Gloucester Rugby teammates to start building momentum on Saturday when they travel to Sixways to take on the Worcester Warriors.

The 29-year-old made his first start of the Premiership season last weekend in his side’s 40-31 win over London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.

That ended a run of seven straight league defeats stretching back to February of last season but under new director of rugby Nigel Davies there is much cause for optimism amongst the Cherry & Whites.

The Warriors have now lost in their last six games in the Premiership but Gloucester have not managed back-to-back wins on the road since February 2011.

Teams:

Worcestor Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Joe Carlisle, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Chris Jones, 5 Dean Schofield (captain), 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ollie Hayes, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 James Currie, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Josh Drauniniu.

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Jim Hamilton (captain), 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Sione Kalamafoni, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Rob Cook.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle Andrew Watson
TMO: Trevor Fisher

Harlequins v Sale Sharks
(Twickenham Stoop, Kickoff: 15.00; 14.00 GMT)

The common consensus goes that retaining a title is much more difficult than winning the first but Harlequins have made the perfect start to defending their Premiership crown with two bonus-point wins from as many games this season.

Success over London Wasps and London Welsh has seen Conor O’Shea’s men soar to the top of the Premiership table – a position they occupied for most of last season before claiming their maiden league title at Twickenham.

To stay there they will have to beat Sale Sharks at the Stoop on Saturday – a team who have not beaten Quins since May 2010.

Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Peter Browne, 20 Maurie Fa’asavalu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Matt Hopper.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (captain), 6 James Gaskell,5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Mark Jennings.

Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth Robin Goodliffe

London Wasps v London Irish
(Adams Park, Kick-off: 15.00; 14.00 GMT)

London Irish No.8 Jon Fisher knows he and his back-row teammates have a real fight on their hands this weekend when they travel to Adams Park to take on London Wasps.

Both of the capital clubs are yet to win a game this season, the Exiles suffering defeats against Saracens and Gloucester so far this campaign.

Wasps meanwhile have fallen to narrow defeats to defending champions Harlequins and then again last weekend against Bath at the Rec.

And with the likes of James Haskell and Billy Vunipola to take on this weekend Fisher insists he and his back-row teammates will have their work cut out for them on Saturday at a ground they have not won at since 2006.

Teams:

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (captain), 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Joe Launchbury, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Zak Taulafo, 19 James Haskell, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Tommy Bell.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Tomás O’Leary, 8 Jon Fisher, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Declan Danaher (captain), 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 John Ryan, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Anthony Watson, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege Kevin Stewart

Saracens v Leicester Tigers
(Wembley Stadium, Kick-off: 15.30; 14.30 GMT)

Will Fraser admits Wembley Stadium has become a home from home for Saracens – claiming it could prove the difference when his side host Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

Saracens will make the journey to Wembley for the sixth time to take on Leicester Tigers on Saturday with an enviable record of four wins and one loss in the Premiership at the iconic venue.

Both sides will be putting their 100 percent starts to the season on the line after Sarries chalked up a 40-3 win over London Irish before downing Sale Sharks 23-16 while Leicester swept aside London Welsh 38-13 and eased past Worcester Warriors 34-26 last time out.

The last time these sides met Leicester emerged victorious in their semifinal clash at the end of last season – Saracens’ only reverse in their last six Premiership games having begun this season with a bang.

Teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (captain), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Rob Andrew, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Patrick Phibbs, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Referee: Martin Fox
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick Paul Dix
TMO: Graham Hughes

London Welsh v Exeter Chiefs
(Kassam Stadium, 15.00; 14.00 GMT)

New boys London Welsh have begun with two defeats to last season’s Premiership finalists – Leicester and Harlequins.

Exeter Chiefs were narrowly defeated at Northampton on Sunday following their round one home victory over Sale.

The Chiefs have won just one of their last four away games in all competitions: 31-26 at Worcester in the Premiership on 14 April.

This is the two clubs first ever clash in the Premiership, but they have been regular adversaries in the lower leagues over the years. The four most recent encounters (all in season 2009/10) were all won by the home side on the day.

Teams:

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Hudson Tonga’uiha, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Mike Denbee, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Matt Corker, 4 Jonathan Mills (captain), 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Frank Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Alfie To’oala, 21 Jonah Holmes, 22 James Lewis, 23 Seb Jewell.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (captain), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 James Phillips, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Jack Nowell.

Referee: David Pearson
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Robin Goodliffe ENDS

Predictions

After round two there are five  teams in the league with a one hundred percent winning record. However, as there will be two games played where both sets of teams are unbeaten there will only be at best three teams left with this record intact at the end of this round.

It may seem foolish to be making our predictions with so few of the teams announced thus far, but here goes anyway.

Expect the following to win: Northampton, Gloucester, Harlequins, Wasps, Saracens (this one could easily go the other way with a win for Leicester), Exeter.

Table after two rounds
 
  TEAM P W D L F A BP
1 Harlequins 2 2 0 0 82 43 2 10
2 Leicester 2 2 0 0 72 39 2 10
3 Saracens 2 2 0 0 63 19 1 9
4 Northampton 2 2 0 0 48 40 1 9
5 Bath 2 2 0 0 54 46 0 8
6 Exeter 2 1 0 1 64 30 2 6
7 Gloucester 2 1 0 1 59 55 1 5
8 Wasps 2 0 0 2 63 72 3 3
9 Worcester 2 0 0 2 49 58 1 1
10 Sale 2 0 0 2 22 66 1 1
11 London Irish 2 0 0 2 34 80 0 0
12 London Welsh 2 0 0 2 16 78 0 0

9 Responses to Aviva Premiership: Round three – UPDATED

  • 1

    All the teams now up

  • 2

    Tigers vs Saracans the biggie for the weekend

  • 3

    2 @ Just For Kicks:
    Hi JFK, yes that will be the main one for the weekend, should be a good one with both teams in good form, could have gone either way with my pick, sods law Leicester will win seeing as I went for Sarries.

  • 4

    Aviva Premiership result : Bath 14 – 18 Northampton (narrow away victory for Northampton as expected)

  • 5

    Probably am not going to make it in here tomorrow so here’s to some good rugby for all, GO BOKS! GO BULLS!

  • 6

    @ JanMurrayBok:You should be okay, I haven’t picked any, so no side will be cursed! Have a good day, and chat later.

  • 7

    Aviva Saturday results : Worcester 16-16 Gloucester (thought Gloucester would win)
    Harlequins 37-14 Sale Sharks (as expected)
    Wasps 43-14 London Irish (win as expected but by a much bigger margin)
    Saracens 9-9 Leicester Tigers (another unexpected draw, had picked Sarries to win but thought it could go either way)

  • 8

    Final Aviva result from the weekend: London Welsh 24 – 25 Exeter Chiefs (an unexexpected win for London Welsh – their 1st win in the Premiership) – sounds like they did well to get the win after the score was 14-0 to Exeter at one stage.

  • 9

    Harlequins still on top of the log with Northampton 2 points behind in 2nd place, Leicester in 3rd and Saracens in 4th place.



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