Gallagher Premiership set for Round 20
Last Updated: 26/04/19 2:53pm
Review all of the line-ups for a pivotal round in the Gallagher Premiership including Exeter against Harlequins.
Elsewhere, leaders Exeter host Harlequins while European Champions Cup finalists Saracens travel to face Wasps back at the Ricoh Arena.
Leicester Tigers host Bristol Bears who currently sit one place and three points ahead of them in the Gallagher Premiership table.
On Sunday, Gloucester renew their battle for semi-final qualification when they make the trip to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors, who are scrapping to avoid being caught by Newcastle in the race for survival.
Here's a run-down of all of the named line-ups...
Exeter Chiefs vs Harlequins - Saturday at 2pm
Exeter are boosted by the return of Dave Dennis and Jonny Hill who team up in the second row, while winger Tom O'Flaherty and full-back Phil Dollman also return.
On the bench, Gareth Steenson has overcome a calf problem to reclaim his place in the match-day 23, where he will be joined by Sam Hill, who should he come onto the field, will be making his 100th Premiership appearance for the Chiefs.
For Quins, Francis Saili starts at inside centre following his performance off the bench in the European Challenge Cup Semi-Final match at Clermont Auvergne last weekend in place of one of the season's most consistent performers, Ben Tapuai.
In the pack, Stan South starts, partnering the ever impressive Matt Symons in the second row.
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Tom O'Flaherty, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 3 Harry Williams, 4 Dave Dennis, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Sean Lonsdale, 8 Matt Kvesic.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sam Hill.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Ross Chisholm, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Matt Symons, 5 Stan South, 6 Jack Clifford, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 8 Alex Dombrandt.
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 George Merrick, 20 Semi Kunatani, 21 Niall Saunders, 22 James Lang, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye.
Leicester Tigers vs Bristol Bears - Saturday at 3pm
Clayton Blommetjies starts at full-back for Leicester with Matt Toomua partnering Matt Smith at centre.
In the pack, Australia international Tatafu Polota-Nau joins England duo Ellis Genge and Dan Cole in the front row as Kalamafoni returns at No 8 while Guy Thompson moves across to openside flanker.
Pat Lam names an unchanged Bristol side for their trip to Welford Rd. Callum Sheedy and Steve Luatua continue to share the captaincy, while Sam Bedlow retains his place in an exciting backline that features six English players under the age of 25.
Following his last gasp kicking heroics to sink Saracens and take his points tally through the one-hundred mark for the season, Ian Madigan is listed among the replacements alongside the returning Siale Piutau and Jordan Crane, who bring valuable experience to the 23-man squad.
Leicester: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Jonny May, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 George Ford (c), 9 Sam Harrison, 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Will Spencer, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 7 Guy Thompson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Ben White, 22 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 23 Telusa Veainu.
Bristol Bears: 15 Mat Protheroe; 14 Tom Pincus, 13 Piers O'Conor, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Alapati Leiua; 10 Callum Sheedy (co-capt), 9 Andy Uren; 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 John Afoa, 4 Ed Holmes, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Steve Luatua (co-capt), 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Nick Haining.
Replacements: 16 Nick Fenton-Wells, 17 James Lay, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 George Smith, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Siale Piutau.
Wasps vs Saracens - Saturday at 4.30pm
Jimmy Gopperth is named in a matchday 23 for the first time this season as Wasps prepare for an all-important clash with Saracens at Ricoh Arena in Round 20 of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (kick-off 4.30pm).
The versatile back makes his long-awaited return to be named among the replacements after he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in pre-season which has seen him sidelined for the past eight months.
Meanwhile, in the starting line-up, Will Rowlands and Kearnan Myall deputise for the injured second row duo of Joe Launchbury and James Gaskell, while Kieran Brookes prepares for his first start at tighthead since December.
Ashley Johnson starts at hooker and will captain the side, while his next try would see him reach the 200-point milestone for the Club.
Eight Saracens Academy graduates have been named in the starting XV. Seven of them featured from the start in last weekend's Heineken Champions Cup semi-final win over Munster with Nick Tompkins coming on at half-time. The centre is the only change to the backline that began at the Ricoh Arena.
In the pack, the front five remains the same while there is just a single alteration to the back row. Calum Clark comes in at openside flanker while Mike Rhodes and Billy Vunipola stay at six and eight respectively.
Senior Academy centre Dom Morris will hope to make his Gallagher Premiership debut from the bench.
Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Joe Simpson; 1 Zurabi Zhvania, 2 Ashley Johnson (c), 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Will Rowlands,
5 Kearnan Myall, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Nizaam Carr, 8 Nathan Hughes.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Juan de Jongh.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Spencer, 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Mike Rhodes, 7 Calum Clark, 8 Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Alex Lewington.
Worcester vs Gloucester - Sunday at 3pm
Loosehead prop Ethan Waller will become the third Worcester Warriors player in recent weeks to reach the 50 appearances milestone for the club in Sunday's Gallagher Premiership derby against Gloucester.
Waller, 26, joined Warriors from Northampton Saints two years ago and will follow Francois Hougaard (v Harlequins) and Marco Mama (v Sale Sharks) to the half-century of appearances landmark in a home match.
Waller will have the honour of leading out Warriors against Gloucester and he will again start having produced a dynamic display in the win over Sale.
Warriors have made one change to their starting XV with wing Perry Humphreys set for his first appearance in almost four months.
Humphreys suffered an ankle injury in the win over Bath in January but made his comeback in the Cavaliers two weeks ago and scored a try in the final Premiership Rugby Shield match of the season at Newcastle on Monday.
Gloucester have made four changes to their starting line-up for the short trip up the M5 to Sixways.
Three of the changes are in the pack. Val Rapava Ruskin and Gareth Denman will start at loosehead and tighthead respectively, while Jake Polledri comes in for Jaco Kriel at openside. Charlie Sharples returns to replace Tom Seabrook on the right wing in the only change to the back line.
Meanwhile, the most significant change in the replacements sees Jason Woodward named in the matchday squad having recovered from a calf injury suffered in the Wasps game just over a month ago.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Marco Mama (c),7 Sam Lewis,8 Cornell Du Preez
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Callum Black, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Andrew Kitchener, 21 Ted Hill, 22 Michael Heaney, 23 Jono Lance.
Gloucester Rugby: 15 Matt Banahan; 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy; 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Willi Heinz (capt); 1 Val Rapava Ruskin, 2 Franco Marais, 3 Gareth Denman; 4 Ed Slater, 5 Franco Mostert; 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Jake Polledri, 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Lloyd Evans, 23 Jason Woodward