Gallagher Premiership Round 21 team news including Saracens vs Exeter
Last Updated: 03/05/19 5:15pm
A review all of the line-ups for the penultimate round of the Gallagher Premiership regular season, including the top-of-the-table clash between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs.
There are two games on Friday evening, with Harlequins hosting Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears at home to Sale Sharks.
The first of those will have a huge bearing on whether or not Newcastle Falcons will be able to keep their battle to avoid relegation going to the final week of the campaign when they travel to Gloucester on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Exeter can secure top spot if they beat Saracens, and Northampton Saints will aim to stay in the hunt for a play-off place when they host Worcester Warriors.
On Sunday, Bath and Wasps clash in a match which is crucial to both teams' hopes of finishing in the top four as well.
Here is a run-down of all of the named lineups...
Saracens vs Exeter Chiefs - Saturday 3pm
Both Mark McCall and Rob Baxter have shuffled their packs for the top-two clash at Allianz Park, with the Saracens and Exeter directors of rugby having an eye on the upcoming play-off semi-finals and, in the case of the hosts, the following week's Champions Cup final.
Both teams are already certain of a place in the Premiership top four, although victory for the Chiefs would see them make sure of finishing top of the pile.
Baxter is eager for the 2017 Premiership champions to make certain of that and does not believe the intensity will be any lower from either team despite the number of changes both have made.
"In some ways I believe it makes it more exciting because ourselves and Saracens are probably looking for some different things out of the game," said Baxter.
"We want to get game time into our guys and it will be a similar scenario for them."
Second row Josh Caulfield and flanker Richard Capstick both make their first Premiership starts for Exeter, while Tongan international Onehunga Kaufusi is named in a Premiership squad for the first time.
Joining him on the replacements bench are young props Billy Keast and Marcus Street, and England U20 international Sam Maunder backing up sibling Jack at scrum-half.
McCall has rung the changes for Sarries, with Nick Tompkins the only member of the backs division to have started in last Saturday's 31-14 win away to Wasps.
Highly-rated winger Rotimi Segun makes his first Premiership start, with Matt Gallagher, Marcelo Bosch, Alex Lewington, Max Malins and Richard Wigglesworth - who captains the side - all coming in too.
In the pack, Nick Isiekwe, Schalk Burger, Ben Earl, Joe Gray and Vincent Koch all come into the starting line-up.
Saracens: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Rotimi Segun, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Max Malins, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Joe Gray, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Will Skelton, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Schalk Burger, 8 Ben Earl
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Dom Day, 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Dom Morris
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Tom O'Flaherty, 13 Max Bodilly, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Jack Maunder, 1 Ben Moon, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Josh Caulfield, 6 Sean Lonsdale, 7 Richard Capstick, 8 Tom Lawday
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Onehunga Kaufusi, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Tom Hendrickson
Northampton Saints vs Worcester Warriors - Saturday 3pm
Luther Burrell is set for his final home appearance in a Saints shirt as they aim to keep their hopes of making the top four alive when Worcester Warriors visit Franklin's Gardens.
The centre will cross codes to join Super League side Warrington Wolves at the end of the season, but will have a chance to say goodbye to the Northampton fans on their home patch as Chris Boyd makes just two changes to his starting lineup.
They are in the front row, where club captain Alex Waller and Ben Franks come in as props. Forward Lewis Ludlam and back Piers Francis are on the bench after recovering from injuries as well.
Worcester captain GJ van Velze is set to return to action against his former club after recovering from a fractured forearm which has kept him out since mid-February. He slots in at number eight and is the only change to the starting lineup which beat Gloucester 27-20 last Sunday.
It will be a special day for Warriors prop Nick Schonert too as he reaches 100 first-team appearances for the club.
Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Cobus Reinach, 1 Alex Waller, 2 Reece Marshall, 3 Ben Franks, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Jamie Gibson, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Teimana Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Samson Ma'asi, 17 Francois Van Wyk, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ken Pisi.
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 Cornell du Preez, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze.
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 vs Newcastle Falcons - Saturday 3pm
Alex Dunbar will make his first Premiership start for Newcastle as the bottom side aim to secure their third consecutive league win at Kingsholm.
Alex Tait comes in at full-back for Simon Hammersley, who is out with a head injury, and Zach Kibirige replaces injured winger Vereniki Goneva. Michael Young starts at scrum-half too and Callum Chick lines up at flanker in place of injured England international Mark Wilson.
Newcastle's fate could already be decided by the time this match kicks off, depending whether Leicester Tigers pick up at least two points at Harlequins on Friday evening, but director of rugby Dean Richards is solely focused on his side's result.
"We've given it our all in the last couple of matches, but just not with the level of control required at this level," said Richards.
"There are such small margins in this league and so many good teams - it's incredibly unforgiving."
Gloucester, who are already guaranteed a top-four finish, make five changes for the match. Full-back Jason Woodward, scrum-half Callum Braley, props Fraser Balmain and Josh Hohneck, and back row Jaco Kriel all come into the starting line-up.
"We've still got two games left to play and, regardless of who is on the pitch, we have an organisation to represent," said Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann.
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Callum Braley, 1 Josh Hohneck, 2 Franco Marais, 3 Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7 Jaco Kriel, 8 Ben Morgan.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Lewis Ludlow, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Lloyd Evans, 23. Henry Purdy
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Michael Young, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Rodney Ah You, 4 Calum Green, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Gary Graham, 8 Nemani Nagusa.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Sam Lockwood, 18 Trevor Davison, 19 Will Witty, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 George Wacokecoke.
Bath vs Wasps - Sunday 3pm
Skipper Joe Launchbury and James Gaskell both return to boost the Wasps second row for the trip to the Rec after recovering from injuries.
Simon McIntyre, in for the injured Zurabi Zhvania, and Tom Cruse both start in the front row as well, while Juan de Jongh replaces the injured Elliot Daly in the centre and Rob Miller starts at fly-half due to Lima Sopoaga being with his wife this week for the birth of their second child.
Both teams need a win to keep their chances of a top-four finish alive.
"There's not much between us and Bath but we've just got to turn up on the day," said Wasps director of rugby Dai Young.
"We have to make sure we have that passion, desire and commitment, which should be a given."
Hosts Bath make just one change to the team which were edged out 6-3 away to Sale Sharks last Friday, with Will Chudley returning at scrum-half in place of Kahn Fotuali'i.
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Will Chudley, 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Max Lahiff, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Charlie Ewels, 6 Tom Ellis, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Zach Mercer.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Sam Nixon, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Elliott Stooke, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Alex Davies, 23 Max Wright.
Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Joe Simpson, 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 James Gaskell, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Nizaam Carr, 8 Nathan Hughes.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Ross Neal.