AVIVA Premiership Fixtures Weekend 9-11 Feb Round 14
The 14th round of the Aviva Premiership Rugby kicks off this Friday on 9th February 2018 with Exeter Chiefs looking to extend their lead when they host Worcester Warriors. The battle for the top 4 in the table will certainly intensify with the fourth-placed Gloucester Rugby, only a point behind third-placed Wasps. Sitting in the second position is Saracens. These are the highlights of the round:
Gloucester Rugby v Leicester Tigers - Saturday 10th February kick off @ 1430hrs
Gloucester Rugby is fighting hard to surpass third-placed Wasps. Leicester Tigers, on the other hand, will not roll over and give up that easily. They will be looking to gain new grounds in the mid-table with most teams only separated by a one or two-point gap. Gloucester has a 100% winning rate at home this season, a feat that only Exeter has achieved. Leicester, on the other hand, has not won any match away from home since round 7 of the Premiership. In the previous 11 meetings between these two sides, Leicester has only lost one match, back in October 2014 at Kingsholm. The Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann is set to name his strongest lineup. This is more so because the season is approaching its final stretch and anything less than the best might cost him dearly. Squad rotation is not as important now since only a few rounds are remaining. The captain Willi Heinz is expected to return to the side after resuming full training following a six-week period of calf related problems. Charlie Sharples is unavailable because of a hamstring injury while Ross Moriarty is on international duty with Wales. Dan Cole, George Ford and wing Jonny May of Leicester Rugby are away representing England in the Six Nations. Star backs Manu Tuilagi, and Telusa Veainu are likely to feature in the fixture following having recovered from injury.
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons - Saturday 10th February kick off @ 1430hrs
Saracens winning record against Newcastle is indisputable having won the last eighteen matches in all competitions, extending all the way to February 2009 when Falcons won 13–9 at Kinston Park. They have a strong home record in the Premiership rugby; their last defeat was in March 2016 against Exeter Chiefs. Newcastle Falcons hadn’t lost a match since the third round of the Premiership when they succumbed to an 8–21 defeat at Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Saracens approach to this match is characterised by confidence having won the past three successive Premiership matches and currently occupying the second place in the ranking. Newcastle Falcons’ aim is to attain the play-off places as they are currently just 2 points behind fourth-place. The Saturday face-off will mark the fifth year anniversary of Saracens’ first game at Allianz Park.
Harlequins V Wasps - Sunday 11th February - kick off @ 1300hrs
This will be the fourth time the two teams are meeting this season. The Premiership meeting in September saw Harlequins edge out Wasps while the European Champions Cup meetings between them ended with each team winning the home game. Wasps enter this fixture with a poor away record. Since September, they have only managed one away win in all competitions, against a weakened Bath in round 12 of the Premiership. The last time Wasps won at Twickenham Stoop was in January 2015 during the European Champions Cup. Tommy Taylor returns to the Wasps side to offer a timely boost as the season approaches the end. Key players are set to return from the England game but unlikely to feature.
Friday 9th February - kick off @ 1945hrs
Saturday 10th February
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