Gallagher Premiership 2020/21 - Round 15 Archive

The Rugby Tipster keeps you up-to-date with the latest on each round of matches in the Gallagher Premiership. Our in-depth knowledge of form and team selection can guide your rugby betting selections and get you the best rugby odds.



Friday March 26th





You know you’re not in a bad position player depth-wise when you can turn to England’s second-highest try-scorer and world rugby’s most-talked about winger straight after the Six Nations.

The inclusion of Jonny May on one wing and Louis Rees-Zammit on the other for the visit of double champions Exeter is a powerful statement of intent from the Cherry & Whites.

While May wasn’t among the tries as much as he’d have liked in the Six Nations, his spectacular diving finish against Italy was one of the highlights. Whilst Welsh wing sensation Rees-Zammit enhanced his already glowing reputation with four tries, again involving some fine finishes.

But will they get the ball? Exeter’s fondness for dominating possession is well known and the Cherry & Whites will need a foothold in the game, at scrum and lineout, if they are going to give their two star wide men some bullets to fire.

No team has lost more lineouts in the Premiership this season, yet this is counter-balanced by the fact the Chiefs are top for scrums lost.

Discipline will be another key issue, and that’s been a problem for Gloucester this season. Their tally of 14 cards (11 yellow and three red) is the highest in the league and Exeter are ruthless enough to punish any team if they have all 15 men on the park, let alone are a man or two down.

However, you cannot help but look at the Chiefs line-up and think that this is a golden opportunity for Gloucester to take their scalp. True enough, the Chiefs second/third string did wonders towards the end of last season, pulling off some great wins, notable away to Bristol, but the league was in a different place back then and Gloucester need to seize the chance in front of them.

Gloucester are undoubtedly stronger for the 12 changes made by head coach George Skivington in the wake of last week’s heavy loss at Harlequins, when they elected to rest some frontline players.

On the other hand, the Chiefs line-up looks as weak as it’s been for some time, on paper at least, which is why Gloucester are conceding three points on the handicap.

In the Chiefs pack, Sean Lonsdale is the lone survivor from last weekend’s 47-31 home win over Leicester Tigers, while behind Harvey Skinner, Facundo Cordero and Olly Woodburn also remain in situ as DoR Rob Baxter concentrates on putting a fully-loaded side out for the visit of Lyon in Europe the following weekend.

Gloucester are averaging 23 points per home game in the league this season and you’d fancy them to improve on that against a makeshift side, especially with the attacking arsenal at their disposal., which is why our recommended bet is for the Cherry & Whites to score over 3.5 tries (8/11).

Gloucester: 15. Santiago Carreras, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Barton, 9. Willi Heinz, 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Jordy Reid, 7. Lewis Ludlow (c), 8. Ruan Ackermann.
Replacements: 16. Santiago Socino, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Ben Morgan, 21. Jack Clement, 22. Charlie Chapman, 23. Charlie Sharples.

Exeter: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan John, 12 Corey Baldwin, 11 Facundo Cordero, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 1 James Kenny, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 3 Marcus Street, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Tom Price, 6 Don Armand, 7 Richard Capstick, 8 Rus Tuima.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Danny Southworth, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Will Witty, 20 Charlie Wright, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Arthur Relton , 23 James Short



Saturday March 27th 





A superb game between two attack-minded teams is in prospect at Ashton Gate as both sides welcome back a host of stars.

Semi Radradra returns to the Bears’ midfield for the first time since January and the home side are also boosted by the presence of international trio, fly-half Callum Sheedy, who makes his 100th club appearance, No.8 Ben Earls and replacement tight-head Kyle Sinckler.

The four changes made by Quins arguably make them a stronger force than the one that despatched a callow Gloucester side last weekend. England centre Joe Marchant returns from Six Nations action to start alongside Springbok Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield and Joe Marler, Scott Baldwin and Wilco Louw make up an all-international front-row.

Leaders Bristol and third-placed Quins are the top two points-scorers in the league this season, and with Quins guilty of shipping quite a few tries (41 at roughly an average of three per game), it points to a high-scoring clash. A word of caution, though, if you are going for ‘overs’ on the total points market, this fixture has only passed the half-century mark once in the last six meetings.

With home advantage, Bristol should prevail but you can’t help but think Quins look good value at 7/4 with Betway to pull off a shock win, especially with turnover king Will Evans in the team at openside.

Bristol: 15. Luke Morahan; 14. Siva Naulago, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Piers O’Conor, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Bryan Byrne, 3. John Afoa, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Ben Earl.
Replacements:  16. Will Capon, 17. Max Lahiff, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Fitz Harding, 21. Tom Kessell, 22. Sam Bedlow, 23. Alapati Leiua.

Quins: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Tyrone Green, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Cadan Murley, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care, 1. Joe Marler, 2. Scott Baldwin, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Matt Symons, 5. Dino Lamb, 6. James Chisholm, 7. Will Evans, 8. Alex Dombrandt (c)
Replacements: 16. Joe Gray, 17. Jordan Els, 18. Simon Kerrod, 19. Glen Young, 20. Tom Lawday, 21. Martin Landajo, 22. Brett Herron, 23. Luke Northmore 





Saturday March 27th





London Irish haven’t been beaten at home since the start of December and Bath have won their last three away, so something has to give in Brentford on Saturday afternoon.

The last dozen meetings have all gone the way of the blue, black and whites but Stuart Hooper’s men will have to rely on their third-choice fly-half, rookie Orlando Bailey.

He sounds like a movie star, and could be the real deal, but there’s no getting away from the fact Bath have been heavily reliant on Rhys Priestland’s boot to win them games this season. Priestland is out this weekend but other big players are back in Anthony Watson, Beno Obano and Charlie Ewels to name but a few.

The Irish 23, meanwhile, almost picks itself, and that consistency of selection, particularly at half-back, has played a role in lifting them into the top-half of the table. 

Last week’s heavy defeat at Sale was a setback and, hopefully for DoR Declan Kidney, a one-off, and we expect a positive response from the Exiles on their own patch. But if Bailey can stand up to the pressure of making his first Premiership start and supply a star-studded backline with good ball, Bath could well be the St Patrick’s Day game party-poopers.  

London Irish: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Matt Cornish, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Chunya Munga, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Matt Rogerson (c)
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 George Nott, 20 Jack Cooke, 21 Sean O’Brien, 22 Ben Meehan, 23 Will Joseph 

Bath: 15. Anthony Watson, 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Max Clark, 11. Will Muir, 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Ben Spencer; 1 Juan Schoeman, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels ©, 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer.
Replacements; 16. Tom Dunn, 17. Beno Obano, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Will Spencer, 20. Miles Reid, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Max Ojomoh, 23. Alex Gray 





Saturday March 27th





Warriors go with a significantly different starting XV to the one that was 41-0 down at half-time against Bath at The Rec last weekend, before the cavalry came on to make for a more respectable final scoreline of 47-22 against them.

With Ollie Lawrence back from his largely redundant spell with England, the home side field five internationals in the backs, including Chris Ashton, who is now at his fifth top-flight club.

Upfront, Warriors will be praying that nothing untoward happens to tight-head prop Nick Schonert, loose-head Ethan Waller and hooker Niall Annett as their resources in this area are badly depleted, which is a real concern for concern in the last half-an-hour when Saints will be looking to turn the screw.

Northampton’s old habit of throwing away golden opportunities returned to haunt them at home to Bristol last weekend, and they won’t be in any mood to let another ‘W’ escape from their grasp this time around, especially with Dan Biggar, Alex Mitchell and David Ribbans back in the fold from international duty.

Saints sit fifth on the Gallagher Premiership ladder but will be looking to close the gap on the top four with a victory, having won their last six encounters with Warriors since 2017.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Perry Humphreys, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Joe Batley.
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Tom Dodd, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Francois Venter.

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 1 Alex Waller (c), 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Ehren Painter, 4 David Ribbans, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Teimana Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Tom James, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Tommy Freeman




Saturday March 27th





Wasps will have taken great heart from the way they came back from behind to take the spoils in a close game against Newcastle last Friday.

It was only their second win in seven outings and much-needed. With Alfie Barbeary back at No.8 and Joe Launchbury also fit again to take his place in teh engine room alongside Will Rowlands, Wasps now look far better-equipped to deal with the physical challenge that Sale Sharks pose.

Salr have won on their last two visits to the Ricoh Arena and they come down with a strong bench, but we reckon Wasps might just nick this one.

For a try-scorer look no further than Paolo Odogwu. England’s criminally under-used, and still uncapped, centre will be busting a gut to make a big impression after being overlooked by Eddie Jones in the Six Nations.

Odogwu has to be content with a place on the Wasps bench but head coach Lee Blackett is an honourable man and there’s no way he’d leave one of his most powerful assets ‘riding the pine’ for the whole 80 minutes. That would be just cruel!

Wasps: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 1 Ben Harris, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Will Rowlands, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Alfie Barbeary.
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Jack Owlett, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Theo Vukasinovic, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Paolo Odogwu (16) 

Sale Sharks: 15. Luke James, 14. Byron McGuigan, 13. Sam James, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. Robert du Preez, 9 Raffi Quirke; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 4. Josh Beaumont, 5. Cobus Wiese, 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 7. Cameron Neild, 8. Daniel du Preez Replacements: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Will-Griff John, 19. James Phillips, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Will Cliff, 22. AJ MacGinty, 23. Simon Hammersley.



Sunday March 28th





Bonus-point wins for Northampton and London Irish on Saturday ruined any hopes Leicester had of moving into the top half of the table this weekend. However, they can still climb above Bath into seventh place if they beat Newcastle, as expected, at Welford Road.

That would be another small step in the Tigers’ steady if unspectacular progress under Steve Borthwick, who should be comfortable winners against a Newcastle side that looks out-of-sorts and down on their luck.

The Falcons blew an 18-6 half-time lead at home to Wasps last time out and conceded 17 penalties and two yellow cards. Having had to defend for the majority of the second half, much of it on their own try-line, their discipline eventually cracked and Leicester will look to put them under the same pressure today.

When Newcastle were playing well at the start of the season, the Michael Young-Brett Connon-Toby Flood-Luther Burrell axis at 9-13 had been working very well. But injuries and a loss of form have disrupted them there and scoring enough tries to seriously trouble the opposition on the scoreboard has become a problem.

Leicester, on the other hand, look to be in a buoyant mood, having come out of last week’s defeat at Exeter with five tries and a lot of credit, and they also welcome back some influential players.

England trio George Ford, Ellis Genge and George Martin return from international duty and Jasper Wiese from suspension.

Genge comes straight into the starting pack at loose-head prop alongside club captain Tom Youngs and Dan Cole in the front row, with Ford at 10 and Martin on the bench.

In the back row, there is a welcome return from suspension for Wiese at No.8 after four weeks on the sidelines. The South African’s inclusion sees last weekend’s fans’ favourite winner Hanro Liebenberg move to blindside flanker.

As for Newcastle, England flanker Mark Wilson returns to captain the side, centre Pete Lucock making his first Premiership start after coming on twice as a replacement during the opening fortnight of the league campaign.

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 George Ford, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Jasper Wiese.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 George Martin, 21 Jack Van Poortvliet, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Guy Porter.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 George Wacokecoke, 13 Pete Lucock, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Louis Schreuder, 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Darren Barry, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch, 7 Mark Wilson (c), 8 Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Connor Collett, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Morgan Passman.