This weekend sees the reverse of the fixtures of Round 1 of Aviva Premiership Rugby, and intriguing set of six matches that will give all 12 of our sides an indication of their progress since October. With no Friday matches both live TV games are on Sunday with a double header from Sandy Park and Ricoh Arena.
Saturday 27 February
Sale Sharks v Saracens (AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm)
Saracens are the second best team in Aviva Premiership Rugby on current form, along with Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons, all gaining 18 league points from their last six matches. Saracens only defeat away from home in any competition since April was on their trip to Harlequins on 9 January. Sale have won just one of their last seven encounters with Saracens in all tournaments: 14-10 at AJ Bell Stadium in this equivalent fixture in round 15 last year.
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors (Franklin’s Gardens, 2.45pm)
Worcester Warriors 13-game losing run in all tournaments ended with their 31-23 defeat of Sale Sharks at Sixways on Saturday. Warriors are one of just two sides to have lost all six away games in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season, the other being London Irish. Worcester won the closest of games by a single point courtesy of a Tom Heathcote penalty in injury time when the two clubs met in Round 1. Worcester have only once before achieved a season’s double over Saints, in 2004-05.
Gloucester Rugby v Newcastle Falcons (Kingsholm, 3pm)
Newcastle Falcons have lost only one of their last five matches in all tournaments and that by a single point to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 6th February. The Tynesiders have not won away from home in any competition since they visited London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 7 February 2015. Gloucester’s only defeat in their last five Premiership Rugby fixtures against the Falcons was 10-20 at Kingston Park in November 2014. Newcastle have won just once at Kingsholm since 1998: 29-20 in Premiership Rugby in April 2012.
Sunday 28 February
Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby (Sandy Park, 1pm) Live on BT Sport
Bath Rugby have won just one of their last eight encounters in all competitions: 16-14 at Worcester Warriors in round 12 of Aviva Premiership Rugby. Bath have actually tallied more league points away from home than they have at home this season. Exeter’s only victory in their eleven Premiership encounters with Bath was 16-6 at Sandy Park in this equivalent fixture in round 16 last season.
Leicester Tigers v London Irish (Welford Road, 3pm)
London Irish’s three victories in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season have all come in the last seven rounds, against Northampton, Newcastle and Worcester. The Exiles have failed to gain a single league point from any of their six away games in Premiership Rugby this season.
The Tigers have lost just one of their last 14 encounters with London Irish: 19-22 at Welford Road in Premiership Rugby in September 2014.
Wasps v Harlequins (Ricoh Arena, 3.15pm) Live on BT Sport
Harlequins ended a four-game losing run with their 25-19 victory over Leicester at Twickenham Stoop on Friday. Harlequins have not won away from home since they visited Worcester in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 3 January. Harlequins only loss in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby meetings with Wasps was 6-37 on their only previous visit to Ricoh Arena in Round 14 last year.