Tag Archives: stoop

Image article-2304692-191CC39A000005DC-586_306x423.jpg

Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw ready for Munster Heineken Cup quarter-final

Robshaw revved up and ready to go as Quins prepare for Munster clash

By
Chris Foy

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

Raring to go: Quins and England captain Robshaw

Raring to go: Quins and England captain Robshaw

For England captain Chris Robshaw, watching football this week brought home just what a high-stakes occasion awaits Harlequins against mighty Munster on Sunday.

It is only the third time the London club have made it to the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup; their skipper is well aware of the import. ‘It is what you want to be part of, a Heineken Cup quarter-final,’ he said. ‘I was watching the Champions League and thinking, “That’s the level we are at in rugby”.’

With the LV Cup won, Quins remain on course for a historic Treble and Robshaw is bracing himself for the business end of the season, when every team will be hell-bent on denying the Premiership champions their target.

‘Since week one, we have been hunted, the team everyone raises their game for,’ he said. ‘It is an incredibly big challenge but you would not swap it for the world. These next eight weeks are the eight weeks you want. It could be nothing, it could be all.’

Lying in wait: Munster train in Cork this week ahead of their visit to London

Lying in wait: Munster train in Cork this week ahead of their visit to London

Munster come to the Stoop after a 51-24 mauling in Glasgow, but Quins expect the Irish province to be in full, fiery European mode.

England lock George Robson said: ‘Anyone who reads anything into their league results is missing a trick in terms of what the Cup means to the province. It is what they live for.’

Ronan O’Gara, the Munster fly-half, is, at 37, the only survivor from Quins’ 48-40 win in 1997. A repeat of that score may be unthinkable, but a home win by a similar margin is certainly not.

Image article-2270652-0F485B2800000578-188_468x306.jpg

Saracens and Ulster Heineken Cup quarter-final at Twickenham

Twickenham to host Heineken Cup quarter-final between Saracens and Ulster

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

13:05 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 30 January 2013

Saracens have announced their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster on April 6 will be played at Twickenham.

The Aviva Premiership club's new Allianz Park home, complete with its artificial playing surface, had been mooted as a possible venue.

Bumper crowd: Saracens will host Ulster at Twickenham in April

Bumper crowd: Saracens will host Ulster at Twickenham in April

But club chairman Nigel Wray told Saracens' official website today that the game will be staged at Twickenham.

'We look forward to playing this important match at the home of English rugby, a ground that many of our players know extremely well,' Wray said.

'It is absolutely clear that people want to see big teams playing big matches at big stadiums, and that is precisely what we will deliver at Twickenham.

Happy memories: Sarries won the Aviva Premiership title at HQ in 2011

Happy memories: Sarries won the Aviva Premiership title at HQ in 2011

'We did consider the option of playing this showpiece match at Allianz Park, our brand new home stadium in NW4, but, in consultation with local residents and our partners at the London Borough of Barnet, we have decided to settle at the new venue before applying to stage a one-off event with a larger capacity.'

Harlequins will host Munster at their Twickenham Stoop home the following day, with the quarter-final line-up completed by Leicester visiting Toulon and Clermont Auvergne hosting Montpellier.

Image article-2248672-168735A2000005DC-694_468x322.jpg

Harlequins 53 Zebre 5: Heineken Cup Pool Three rout

Harlequins 53 Zebre 5: Robshaw keeps his promise as Italians are brushed aside

|

UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 15 December 2012

Captain Chris Robshaw promised that Harlequins would make a name for themselves in Europe after they won the Premiership and Saturday's thumping victory means they can enjoy Christmas on the brink of ensuring a home Heineken Cup quarter-final.

No team will fancy a trip to the Stoop to take on a Quins side brimming with confidence, although few will be as poor as Italian minnows Zebre, formed only last May after the Aironi team hit financial problems and had their licence revoked by the Italian Rugby Federation.

Zebra cross: Danny Care of Quins celebrates as he runs in a try

Zebra cross: Danny Care of Quins celebrates as he runs in a try

Two more victories in Pool Three would give director of rugby Conor O'Shea's Quins top seeding in the knockout stages.

'We want to be successful here and we all vowed to kick on after winning the Premiership last May,' said O'Shea.

'If you see how we've done so far
this season, we've won 13 out of 16 games, we're top of the Premiership,
we're top of our Heineken Cup pool unbeaten, we've won both LV Cup
games so far and we're in the A League final, so we are definitely doing
OK. But we don't just want to win this pool, we want a home
quarterfinal.'

Bearing in mind Quins have won all
four Pool Three games so far, already lead second-placed Biarritz by ten
points and have Connacht at home in four weeks before a final trip to
Biarritz, they are superbly placed.

On the run: Ugo Monye evades a tackle from Zebra's Giovanbattista Venditti (left)

On the run: Ugo Monye evades a tackle from Zebra's Giovanbattista Venditti (left)

To put Zebre's quality into
perspective, they came to south-west London on the back of ten straight
defeats in their first ten games in the RaboDirect Pro12 League.

They have gained only four losing
bonus points and three successive defeats in this Heineken Cup pool –
including last weekend's 57-15 home setback to Quins – indicate their
dire lack of class.

Saturday was no better, with Quins
running in seven tries – two in the first half from Tom Casson and a
penalty try, and five after the break from Ben Botica, Tom Guest, Sam
Smith, Danny Care and Karl Dickson.

Nick Evans scored 18 points with eight successful kicks out of nine attempts. Zebre managed one response in the first half.

Turning heads: Chris Robshaw is wrapped up by the the Zebre defence

Turning heads: Chris Robshaw is wrapped up by the the Zebre defence

To put Zebre's quality into
perspective, they came to south-west London on the back of ten straight
defeats in their first ten games in the RaboDirect Pro12 League.

They have gained only four losing
bonus points and three successive defeats in this Heineken Cup pool –
including last weekend's 57-15 home setback to Quins – indicate their
dire lack of class.

Saturday was no better, with Quins
running in seven tries – two in the first half from Tom Casson and a
penalty try, and five after the break from Ben Botica, Tom Guest, Sam
Smith, Danny Care and Karl Dickson.

Nick Evans scored 18 points with eight successful kicks out of nine attempts. Zebre managed one response in the first half.

That prompted O'Shea to question why
the visitors – who simply add weight to the Anglo-French TV row with the
ERC at the moment over involving more English and French teams and
fewer from the smaller nations in the tournament – are even in the
Heineken Cup.

Six appeal: Sam Smith runs in to score his side's sixth try

Six appeal: Sam Smith runs in to score his side's sixth try

That is before there is even a
discussion over the absurdity of Zebre, one of just two Italian clubs in
the competition, receiving three times as much money as Quins, who are
one of six English clubs taking part.

'We shared the same hotel as Zebre in
August in the south of France for pre-season and their players were
meeting up for the first time,' said O'Shea.

'It was difficult in this game
because we were so superior that it became a mental challenge. You're
damned if you do and damned if you don't. And it makes no sense for
Zebre to get three times as much money as we do for playing in this
competition.

Pass master: Tom Casson offloads the ball

Pass master: Tom Casson offloads the ball

'We won the Amlin Cup three times,
the last time, in 2011, serving as a launchpad for our recent successes,
so that competition should be good enough for a team like Zebre.

'They should have no divine right to
play in the Heineken Cup. It does Italian rugby no good – either for
their fans or commercially – to see Zebre stuffed like this.'

Few at the Stoop will disagree with
that sentiment although, as the happy home fans ventured into the night,
the talk was centred upon Harlequins adding European glory to domestic
silverware.

Image article-2226281-130EA115000005DC-874_233x423.jpg

Nick Evans signs new contract at Harlequins

Former All Black Evans commits to Harlequins for another three years

|

UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 1 November 2012

New deal: Evans

New deal: Evans

Nick Evans has ended speculation about his playing future by a signing a new three-year contract with Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins.

The New Zealand international fly half had been a subject of intense speculation linking him with a move overseas.

But Quins on Thursday announced the 32-year-old has agreed terms that will keep him at the Twickenham Stoop until 2016.

Evans, regarded as one of the most successful foreign signings made by any Premiership club, joined Quins from Otago four years ago.

He has now scored almost 1,200 points for Quins and was named the Rugby Players' Association player of the season last term.

'There is not a player, supporter or coach in the game in England, let alone Harlequins, who will not be delighted that Nick Evans has agreed to stay with us for another three years,' Quins rugby director Conor O'Shea said.

'The Aviva Premiership wants the best players playing in it, and Nick is one of the very best.

'He contributes so much to this club both on and off the field, and he is the perfect role model for all young players.

Key man: Evans helped Quins to win the Premiership last season

Key man: Evans helped Quins to win the Premiership last season

'While I know one of the main reasons he is staying with us revolves around his family, ultimately it is about his ambition to achieve things with this club.

'We have started something here and Nick wants to see it through. His decision to stay is a great early Christmas present for all Harlequins supporters.'

Evans added: 'Myself and my family are happy to have the opportunity to stay at Harlequins. I'm looking forward to continuing to play with a great bunch of lads and to working with a special coaching staff.

'There is no limit to what this team can achieve, and I am excited to have an influence both on and off the field.

Former All Black: Evans appeared 16 times for New Zealand between 2004 and 2007

Former All Black: Evans appeared 16 times for New Zealand between 2004 and 2007

'My decision was made easy by the ambition of this great club, the success we have had and the hunger to want more.

'The support I have had from the supporters has been amazing, and I will do my best to help the club stay one of the major forces in English and European rugby.'

Quins are currently top of the Premiership, while they launched their Heineken Cup campaign last month with successive victories over Biarritz and Connacht.

Evans went off injured during the Biarritz game almost three weeks ago, but it is thought a return to playing action is imminent.

Image article-2198994-12389047000005DC-727_468x358.jpg

Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Alex Corbisiero doubts for Twickenham series

Lancaster dealt triple injury blow as Croft, Youngs and Corbisiero could all be out for autumn Test series

|

UPDATED:

00:05 GMT, 6 September 2012

England head coach Stuart Lancaster is facing the prospect of being without Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Alex Corbisiero for the daunting autumn Test series at Twickenham.

The trio of leading players could struggle to regain full fitness by mid-November after injuries which have prevented them starting the season.

England take on Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on successive Saturdays from November 10 to December 1.

Worry: Tom Croft could miss a trying Test series at Twickenham

Worry: Tom Croft could miss a trying Test series at Twickenham

Croft and Youngs, the Leicester flanker and scrum-half, have neck and knee injuries and their director of rugby Richard Cockerill said on Wednesday: 'They are doing well but it will be two months.'

The same verdict has been given by London Irish's director of rugby Brian Smith on Corbisiero, the country's premier loosehead prop, who needed surgery on a knee injury sustained on England's summer tour of South Africa.

Youngs was also injured on that trip when he hurt his shoulder in the second Test. Lancaster had hoped the 22-year-old would be fit by mid-October but it seems he will be out for longer.

Croft has not played since last April when he hurt his neck during the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins at The Stoop.

However, the outlook for Northampton lock Courtney Lawes is thought to be more positive.

Lawes, 23, missed most of last season's Six Nations and England's summer tour with a shin injury, then damaged an elbow in pre-season training and needed surgery.

Him too: Alex Corbisiero (centre, white shirt) could also miss the matches

Him too: Alex Corbisiero (centre, white shirt) could also miss the matches

'He's a few weeks away yet,' said Northampton's director of rugby, Jim Mallinder.

Meanwhile, with the Lions tour of Australia still nine months away, the verbal sparring has begun after Warren Gatland lit the fuse on Tuesday.

Speaking at his unveiling as head coach, the Kiwi said the Lions should be prepared for a dirty tricks campaign from the host nation, orchestrated by John O'Neill – the notorious ARU chief executive.

The Wales coach suggested O'Neill has exerted a sly influence over the officiating of Australia matches, saying: 'They are masters at it and possibly the best one was John O'Neill, as a master of influence in certain things.

'I don't see any better example than how the (World Cup) quarter-final between South Africa and Austral ia last year was influenced. It was a masterstroke.

Headache: Head coach Stuart Lancaster (centre) could be without three vital players

Headache: Head coach Stuart Lancaster (centre) could be without three vital players

'I'm not 100 per cent sure but I think that, after Ireland beat Australia in that pool game, certain complaints were made about the referee, subtly and tactfully, and I think that had an impact on the quarter-final (refereed by the same official from New Zealand, Bryce Lawrence).

'We've got to be aware about what sort of things are going to be done on and off the field.'

In response yesterday, O'Neill played down any underhand activity but said the ARU made 'enquiries about interpretations at the breakdown' following the defeat by Ireland.

The up-shot was a performance by Lawrence in the quarter-finals which led to South African fury about the leeway given to Australia flanker David Pocock at rucks.

And him! Ben Youngs is also a doubt for the match

And him! Ben Youngs is also a doubt for the match

'It's quite flattering for Warren to give us credit for influencing referees but the reality is we all know referees are beyond reproach,' said O'Neill.

Gatland also cited an issue from the 2001 Lions tour of Australia, when the ARU spent AU$100,000 (about 64,000) on merchandise which was handed out free to home fans, while supporters of the visitors were crammed into distant corners of the bigger stadiums.

He warned the 2013 tourists would be ready for 'an orchestrated campaign in Australia to build them up and potentially make things difficult for us'.

O'Neill added: 'The forthcoming Lions tour wouldn't be the same without a few theatrical distractions and the odd ambush.'

Image article-2174977-0F2D5D6300000578-788_468x390.jpg

Harlequins coach Mapletoft commits future with two-year extension to deal at champions

Harlequins coach Mapletoft commits future with two-year extension at champions

|

UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 17 July 2012

Harlequins backs coach Mark Mapletoft has committed his future to the Aviva Premiership champions by signing a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2015.

He joins director of rugby Conor O'Shea, head coach John Kingston, skills coach Collin Osbourne and forwards coach Tony Diprose in agreeing a new deal; the quartet all signed extensions earlier this year.

Forty-year-old Mapletoft, capped by England in 1997, represented Quins during his playing career, and returned to the club in 2010.

Staying put: Mapletoft (right) has signed an extension at Harlequins

Staying put: Mapletoft (right) has signed an extension at Harlequins

Having helped O'Shea's side to Premiership glory against Leicester at Twickenham in May, he is delighted to have extended his stay at the Stoop.

The former England Under 20 coach said: 'When Conor O'Shea offered me the opportunity to extend my stay with the club, it was a very easy decision.

'Harlequins is a fantastic environment to work in – supportive, challenging, fun and hugely rewarding to coach a large number of ambitious English players.

'Winning the Amlin Challenge Cup and the Aviva Premiership in successive seasons has given everyone involved with the club a boost, but we recognise that these successes are only a start.'

Image article-0-138717BA000005DC-784_468x390.jpg

London 28 Widnes 24: Antonio Kaufusi"s late try won it for Broncos

London 28 Widnes 24: Bucking Broncos throw Vikings with late show

|

UPDATED:

16:24 GMT, 9 June 2012

Antonio Kaufusi grabbed a last-gasp try as London snatched a dramatic victory over Widnes in the Stobart Super League basement battle at the Stoop.

Kaufusi burst over from close range as the hooter sounded to haul the Broncos off the foot of the table – at Widnes' expense.

It was a cruel blow for the visitors, who looked set to claim the two points after try braces from Cameron Phelps and Frank Winterstein.

Triumph: London Broncos hauled themselves off the bottom of the league

Triumph: London Broncos hauled themselves off the bottom of the league

The hosts welcomed back both Jason Golden and Julien Rinaldi after lengthy spells out with injury, although both Michael Witt and Chris Melling were forced to miss out.

Widnes were able to restore Jon Clarke at stand-off, although Joe Mellor sat out the clash following his suspension for a dangerous tackle against Huddersfield last week.

Having beaten the Londoners 38-30 on their own patch earlier this season, and buoyed by last weekend's defeat of the Giants, Widnes approached the game in confident mood.

The visitors made the brighter start, Phelps racing clear to touch down after a delayed pass from Clarke with barely three minutes on the clock.

But a succession of penalties soon put Widnes on the back foot, and the Londoners profited when Craig Gower charged over from close range to bring the teams level.

Paul McShane came close to giving the Vikings the lead again on 17 minutes, only for some strong London defence to hold him up as he attempted to wrestle over the line.

The hosts themselves were growing into the game, but handling errors from both sides were stopping them gaining any momentum.

The Broncos were showing a severe lack of creativity though, and that was allowing the Vikings to stay on level terms despite the hosts bossing possession and territory.

Tug back: Jamie O'Callaghan of London Broncos has his shirt pulled by Paddy Flynn

Tug back: Jamie O'Callaghan of London Broncos has his shirt pulled by Paddy Flynn

Gower thought he had struck again on 30 minutes, only for referee Rob Hicks to adjudge him short of the line.

But London did take the lead shortly after, wing Omari Caro crossing in the corner after some neat hands from Dan Sarginson and David Howell.

As has so often been the case this season though, the Broncos were unable to take that lead into half-time, Winterstein muscling over to bring the sides level right on the hooter.

And things got even better for the away side moments after the interval when Phelps took advantage of Gower's slip to race through for his second try and push Widnes back into a six-point lead.

Collection: Julien Rinaldi

Collection: Julien Rinaldi

London were quick to answer that though, Tony Clubb bulldozing through to level things up on 48 minutes.

It was the Broncos who were on top, but they were unable to take the game by the scruff of the neck as Widnes held firm.

But as the chances went begging the Vikings rallied themselves, and then showed London how it should be done when Winterstein crashed over for his second and Patrick Ah Van maintained his 100% record with the boot this afternoon with the conversion attempt to push the visitors 24-18 ahead.

Back came the Broncos, Sarginson setting up a grandstand finish when he wriggled over with seven minutes to play, only for Shane Rodney, who had added the extras to the previous three tries, to hit the post with his conversion attempt.

The game looked up but Kaufusi changed all that, with Kieran Dixon adding the extras to seal a narrow win.

Image article-2146564-132AF031000005DC-513_634x458.jpg

Biarritz 21 Toulon 18: Dmitri Yachvili steals Amlin Challenge Cup final win

Biarritz 21 Toulon 18: Yachvili ruins Jonny's big night and steals Amlin Challenge Cup

|

UPDATED:

21:26 GMT, 18 May 2012

Dimitri Yachvili eclipsed Jonny Wilkinson and kicked Biarritz to their first ever European title with victory over Toulon in the Amlin Challenge Cup final.

Yachvili landed all seven of his penalty shots at goal but the final strike was wrapped in controversy because the French scrum-half, arguably, should not have been on the field.

Toulon had drawn level at 18-18, with five Wilkinson penalties and a trademark drop-goal, and had all the momentum when Yachvili's sly tackle from an offside position stopped a potential try.

Allez: Dimitri Yachvili (left) and Wenceslas Lauret (right) celebrate with the Amlin Challenge Cup

Allez: Dimitri Yachvili (left) and Wenceslas Lauret (right) celebrate with the Amlin Challenge Cup

The officials did not see the one-handed tap tackle that led to Sebastien Tillous Borde passing the ball straight into touch. It was a yellow-card offence.

Biarritz moved downfield and, with nine minutes remaining, Yachvili stroked the kick over to clinch a vital victory for the Basque outfit at the Twickenham Stoop.

Agony: Jonny Wilkinson can't hide his dejection after his Toulon side were beaten at the Twickenham Stoop

Agony: Jonny Wilkinson can't hide his dejection after his Toulon side were beaten at the Twickenham Stoop

Typical Jonny: Former England star Wilkinson drops a goal to tie the scores at 18 apiece

Typical Jonny: Former England star Wilkinson drops a goal to tie the scores at 18 apiece

Toulon had hung in there all game despite Yachvili's kicking masterclass and Wilkinson was in position for a last-gasp drop-goal attempt that would have brought extra-time.

But the Toulon pack left him stranded, conceding a penalty on the eighth phase of the attack that confirmed Biarritz's victory.

Biarritz had to win to qualify for the Heineken Cup for a 13th consecutive season after finishing ninth in the Top 14 following a disappointing domestic campaign.

Match-winner: France scrum-half Yachvili kicked seven penalties for Biarritz

Match-winner: France scrum-half Yachvili kicked seven penalties for Biarritz

The relief and joy was evident from the reaction of senior players like Damien Traille, while Toulon and Wilkinson now have to turn their attention to the Top 14.

Toulon, beaten Amlin Challenge Cup finalists in 2010, face Racing Metro in the Top 14 quarter-finals next weekend.

Image article-2142342-1305DB03000005DC-810_468x345.jpg

England name South Africa tour squad

Lancaster tells bite-ban Hartley to clean up his act as England name squad for South Africa

|

UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 10 May 2012

England coach Stuart Lancaster will lay down the law to Dylan Hartley about the need to keep a lid on his volatile streak when the Northampton captain joins up with the national squad after serving an eight-week ban for biting.

The 26-year-old hooker has been included in the 42-man touring party to travel to South Africa for three Tests against the Springboks and two midweek games this summer.

Hartley is serving an eight-week suspension which expires on Monday, after being found guilty of biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris at Twickenham on March 17.

Calling the shots: Lancaster (centre) and his Rowntree (left) and Catt (right) have made their decisions on the squad to travel to South Africa

Calling the shots: Lancaster (centre) and his Rowntree (left) and Catt (right) have made their decisions on the squad to travel to South Africa

While he will miss the Saints’ Aviva
Premiership semi-final showdown with Harlequins at The Stoop tomorrow,
the country’s first-choice No 2 will be available if his club reach the
final on May 26. He then links up with England.

‘We’re confident that the messages
we’re giving the players are being received,’ said the England coach,
after naming an expanded tour squad. ‘We’ll make sure Dylan gets that
message. If we can’t trust a player on the field then he won’t be
selected.

Back with the boys: Dylan Hartley (second right) has been warned by his boss

Back with the boys: Dylan Hartley (second right) has been warned by his boss

‘We will be having a pretty strong
conversation with Dylan. He’s got to prove that he is ready to come back
into the Test arena. Dylan has credit in the bank.

'Speaking to the conditioners at
Northampton and our guys, he is in the best shape he has ever been and
sometimes a break is not a bad thing. He is important to us.'

Hartley is not alone in being given
the benefit of the doubt. As first reported by Sportsmail, Harlequins
scrum-half Danny Care has been forgiven his alcohol-related
misdemeanours after convincing the coach he is addressing his off-field
issues.

England calling: Wade (left) has won his first senior call-up while Haskell (right) returns to the fold

England calling: Wade (left) has won his first senior call-up while Haskell (right) returns to the fold

England calling: Wade (left) has won his first senior call-up while Haskell (right) returns to the fold

'I am pleased with the progress he
has made,' said Lancaster. 'He knows he is treading a very fine line but
I trust him enough to have the confidence to take him.'

James Haskell — currently in the midst of an impressive stint with Otago in New Zealand — also returns.

With injuries removing Tom Croft and
Tom Wood, the 27-year-old has been recalled but must adapt to the new
England ethic. Asked if he is confident that back-rower Haskell will be
'on message', the coach said: 'I think he’ll be on message, otherwise
he’ll be off tour.'

England's 42-man squad for the summer tour of South Africa

FORWARDS:
M Botha (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), A Corbisiero (London
Irish), P Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), P Dowson (Northampton
Saints), C Fearns (Bath Rugby), J Gray (Harlequins), D Hartley
(Northampton Saints), J Haskell (Otago Highlanders), T Johnson (Exeter
Chiefs), G Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), J Launchbury (London Wasps), J
Marler (Harlequins), L Mears (Bath Rugby), B Morgan (Scarlets), M Mullan
(Worcester Warriors), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester
Tigers), C Robshaw (capt, Harlequins), G Robson (Harlequins), M Stevens
(Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), T Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

BACKS: A
Allen (Leicester Tigers), C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt
(Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), L Dickson
(Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B
Foden (Northampton Saints), A Goode (Saracens), C Hodgson (Saracens), J
Joseph (London Irish), G Lowe (Harlequins), U Monye (Harlequins), D
Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), J Turner-Hall
(Harlequins), C Wade (London Wasps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Image article-2132827-094A08E3000005DC-298_468x308.jpg

Aviva Premiership fixtures guide

Your guide to the weekend's Aviva premiership fixtures

|

UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 20 April 2012

Bath v Wasps

(Saturday: Recreation Ground, 2.15pm)

Hooker Lee Mears returns for Bath who include rugby league recruit Kyle Eastmond on bench. Injury-hit Wasps recall centre Dominic Waldouck.

Prediction: Home win.

Return: Bath hooker Lee Mears back in the side to face Wasps

Return: Bath hooker Lee Mears back in the side to face Wasps

Gloucester v Sale

(Saturday: Kingsholm, 3pm)

Injured Gloucester captain Luke Narraway gives way to Alasdair Strokosch at No 8. Sale have Cillian Willis at No 9 and Will Addison at centre.

Prediction: Home win.

Harlequins v Leicester

(Saturday: The Stoop, 3.15pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Quins restore fit-again Nick Evans at fly-half after two weeks out. Geordan Murphy returns for Leicester after eye injury.

Prediction: Away win.

Worcester v London Irish

(Saturday: Sixways, 3pm)

Injured Alex Corbisiero misses out for Irish. Worcester give the captaincy to Kai Horstmann.

Prediction: Home win

Exeter v Northampton

(Sunday: Sandy Park, 2pm, live on ESPN)

Northampton opt for Stephen Myler at fly-half. Exeter start Jason Shoemark at centre and prop Craig Mitchell is on bench.

Prediction: Away win.