Friday Night Light
This week the clubs will not benefit from having as many internationals back – last week only the starting 15 were retained by Stuart Lancaster with the bench being available for their clubs.
There is no Friday night game, instead we have three matches each on Saturday and Sunday.
Bath take on Wasps at the Rec and despite losing George Ford and Attwood from last week should have too much firepower for the Wasps.
At Kingsholm the Gloucester side will be fired up following their best performance of the season last week at Welford Road. Although they came away with only a losing bonus point, they pushed the Tigers all the way. This week they are at home to Harlequins and if they can maintain the momentum (admittedly without big Ben Morgan) they might well shock the high flying Quins side.
Worcester remain the whipping boys of the Premiership and are likely to go down again at home – this time to the Sharks who need the win to prevent them falling further away from the play-off places.
London Irish are on a bit of a mini roll and will put up stiff resistance against the visiting Tigers. I think that their 3 match winning streak is in danger though – Richard Cockerill was apoplectic last week and the Leicester team will not want to risk his wrath again so soon.
The Saints travel to Newcastle and are likely to return with all 4 points as they fight to maintain their place at the top of the table. They are missing more players than most – but their squad retains a very solid look about it.
The final game sees Exeter at Saracens. I have a soft spot for the Chiefs – they play exciting adventurous rugby – sometimes when caution would be the more sensible option – but you can’t help admiring the way Rob Baxter has forged the way his side approach the game.
They will start to win again – but not this week – Saracens will not have Mako or Alex Goode, but Brad Barritt has been released this time and with Charlie Hodgson guiding them from stand-off (and kicking his goals) they will eventually see off the spirited Chiefs.
Bath to take the sting out of Wasps
Gloucester to halt Harlequins
The Sharks continue Worcester’s troubles
Tigers to stop Irish at the Madejski
Saints come away from Newcastle with another win
Saracens to scalp the Chiefs
That’s three home and three away wins – with the riskiest call being Gloucester knocking over Harlequins at Kingsholm.