Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester Tigers
February 28, 2014
Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester © Getty Images
It is another weekend where the Six Nations takes a break and the focus returns to the Aviva Premiership. Seven rounds remain in the season and while the top two are pulling away, the battle for the play-off spots is still in full flight with four teams chasing two places. Ahead of Round 16, ESPN brings you a rundown of all the latest team news.
Bath Rugby v Saracens
Bath call on their returning England players with Dave Attwood, Anthony Watson, George Ford and Dave Attwood starting. Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Mako Vunipola are named in Sarries' XV.
Prediction: Bath by five
Exeter Chiefs v London Irish
Luke Cowan-Dickie gets his first Premiership start at hooker for Irish while Henry Slade starts ahead of Gareth Steenson. Phil Dollman reverts back into the midfield alongside Ian Whitten, while there are recalls for both Luke Arscott and Tom James. Irish have named Marland Yarde and Topsy Ojo on the wings with Shane Geraghty at fly-half and James O'Connor at No.12.
Kyle Eastmond starts at inside centre against Saracens © Getty Images
Prediction: Exeter by three
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors
Quins change three with Harry Sloan handed his debut at outside centre alongside the returning Jordan Turner-Hall. Maurie Fa'asavalu moves to openside in place of Luke Wallace. Ryan Lamb makes his full Warriors debut in one of four changes. Dean Hammond is recalled on the wing, while captain Jonathan Thomas and Rob O'Donnell both return to the starting line-up.
Prediction: Harlequins by 20
London Wasps v Sale Sharks
Wasps make four changes with Joe Simpson, Josh Bassett, Tommy Bell and Sam Jones all return to the starting team. Danny Cipriani drops to the bench for Sale with Nick Macleod starting at fly-half. Sale name a new front-row with Ross Harrison, Henry Thomas and Tommy Taylor getting the nod. In the backs, Will Cliff partners Cipriani with Mark Harrison named at inside centre.
Prediction: Sale by three
Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby
Phil Dowson makes his 200th appearance for the Saints with Ethan Waller and GJ Van Velze starting in the pack in place of Alex Waller and Samu Manoa. For Gloucester, Freddie Burns returns at fly-half. Meanwhile, Martyn Thomas has recovered from his hamstring injury and takes over from Shane Monahan on the left wing. The only changes to the pack see Yann Thomas and Huia Edmonds replace Nick Wood and Darren Dawidiuk respectively in the front row.
Prediction: Northampton by seven
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers
The Falcons make six changes with Lee Smith handed his debut after completing his cross-code switch. Phil Godman and Mike Blair line-up at half-back with Scott Lawson, Kieran Brookes and Andy Saull starting in the pack. Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester with Tom Youngs and Ben Youngs also named in the XV. Owen Williams gets the nod at fly-half ahead of Toby Flood.
Prediction: Tigers by 10
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