While the Autumn Internationals come to a close the weekend the Aviva Premiership rumbles on, and after a few eyebrow-raising results last weekend, what is in store in round 10?
Friday night kicks off with Worcester travelling to Harlequins. The champions have wobbled somewhat in the past few rounds, losing last week against Bath and winning their two previous fixtures by 3 points. Nevertheless, they should be too strong for Worcester, despite the vast improvements they have shown this season. At the same time the Saints travel to Salford to take on Sale, in a game that is very tough to call. I still feel that Sale will click at some point, and with Northampton not looking in great form and missing key personnel, I think the Sharks might sneak this one.
Saturday sees Bath visit the Tigers and Exeter host Wasps, two games that should be won by the home teams. Exeter were impressive in an away victory at the Madejski last weekend and should win comfortably at home, while the Tigers played out a dour game at Adams Park, narrowly losing. Despite all their missing players they should be too good for Bath at Welford Road, although with Gary Gold’s new resilience instilled in them I can see the West Countrymen taking a bonus point.
On Sunday it’s the battle of the Exiles, with Irish visiting the Kassam Stadium. London Welsh were impressive in getting a bonus point at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend, while the Irish lost at home to the Chiefs. Form dictates a win for London Welsh and that is what I expect to happen, although a bonus point for London Irish is likely. The final game of the weekend is possibly the best game of the round, when Gloucester visit Sarries. The fezheads were poor last weekend in losing to Worcester, but I think they will bounce back with a win against the Cherry and Whites, who will miss a certain Mr. Burns.
Harlequins vs Worcester Warriors: Quins by 10
Sale Sharks vs Northampton Saints: Sale by 5
Exeter Chiefs vs London Wasps: Chiefs by 8
Leicester Tigers vs Bath: Tigers by 6
London Welsh vs London Irish: London Welsh by 2
Saracens vs Gloucester: Saracens by 5
How do you see the weekend playing out?