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Gallagher Premiership weekend preview: Bath vs Sale Sharks, Wasps vs Worcester, Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins

Gallagher Premiership Round 19 fixtures: Bath vs Sale Sharks (Friday, 7.45pm); Wasps vs Worcester Warriors (Saturday, 3pm), Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins (Saturday, 3.30pm).

Last Updated: 14/05/21 3:25pm

Rhys Priestland is back in for Bath for their Friday night Premiership clash vs Sale

We look into the key stats, form and the major team news ahead of the three Gallagher Premiership encounters this weekend…

Friday

Bath vs Sale Sharks (7.45pm kick-off)

Seventh hosts third in Friday night’s encounter, as Rhys Priestland starts at fly-half for Bath after two replacement appearances on his comeback from a hamstring injury. Sam Underhill and Zach Mercer are also restored to the back row.

For Sale, Ben Curry is set to make his first appearance since November off the bench after overcoming a shoulder problem. Jean-Pierre du Preez comes in for Josh Beaumont in the back row.

Bath have suffered defeat in their last three matches and have not lost four in succession since December 2019. They’ve also been defeated in five Premiership matches at the Rec this season and have never lost six home games in one Premiership campaign.

Sale Sharks’ only defeat in the last eight rounds of Premiership Rugby was 14-17 at Northampton on March 13. The Sharks have lost just once away from home in their last four trips: La Rochelle in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup.

Bath have won their last three encounters against Sale since their 3-6 reversal at AJ Bell Stadium in April 2019. Sale have not been victorious at the Rec since a single-point win in March 2014.

Last season: Sale 22-37 Bath, Bath 16-14 Sale

Last six league matches: Bath WWLWLL Sale LWWWWW

Saturday

Wasps vs Worcester Warriors (3pm kick-off)

Against Worcester, Brad Shields will captain Wasps on his 50th appearance for the club and starts at No 8. Charlie Atkinson has been picked to start ahead of Rob Miller at full-back.

England centre Ollie Lawrence has recovered from a shoulder injury to win a spot on Worcester’s bench. Fin Smith has a shoulder problem so Billy Searle is picked at fly-half.

Wasps’ only victory in the last four rounds of the Premiership was 39-29 at home to Bath on April 25. That win against Bath was also their first at the Ricoh Arena since January 2.

Worcester Warriors have lost their last eight Premiership games since their declared win at home to Newcastle on February 20. The Warriors have won only once away from home in Premiership Rugby since November 2019: at London Irish in September 2020.

Wasps have won their last 13 fixtures against Worcester in the Premiership since Worcester’s 29-23 victory at Sixways in March 2013. Worcester’s most recent win on Wasps soil came at High Wycombe on New Year’s Day 2012.

Last season: Wasps 32-17 Worcester, Worcester 26-30 Wasps

Last six league matches: Wasps LWLLWL Worcester LLLLLL

Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins (3.30pm kick-off)

In the first of Saturday’s two clashes, George Ford is restored at fly-half by Leicester, who also field their first choice front row in Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole. Powerful back-row Jasper Wiese is also back at No 8.

Harlequins make two changes in personnel to their team by bringing in wing Nathan Earle and centre James Lang; Joe Marchant making the switch from outside-centre to right wing.

Leicester Tigers’ only victory in their last four matches was 33-24 at home to Ulster in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup. The Tigers have lost only once at Welford Road since the end of January: 18-23 to Northampton in Round 17 of the Premiership.

Harlequins have won their last three Premiership matches and scored 17 tries in the process. Quins’ 25-21 victory at London Irish in Round 17 ended a three-game losing run away from home in the Premiership.

Harlequins are unbeaten in their last four encounters with Leicester since the Tigers’ 35-24 victory at Welford Road in December 2018.

Last season: Leicester 26-32 Harlequins, Harlequins 30-30 Leicester

Last six league matches: Leicester WLWLLL Harlequins LWLWWW


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