The Aviva Premiership returns in force this weekend with some of the internationals back and a crucial season run-in ahead. And there are some very tasty games to get excited about.
Firstly, Leeds really need a result at Sale to stay in the hunt to avoid relegation. A win for the home side and they’d be 13 or 14 points clear of Leeds, and probably safe, and I’m expecting that to happen this weekend.
Elsewhere, I’m also backing the home side, except in the old favourite clash between Bath and Leicester and The Rec. It’s a slightly controversial pick, but I’m leaning towards the Tigers, smarting from a home defeat last weekend and I suspect they’ll begin their end-of-season run now that the internationals are starting to return.
I was hovering over Gloucester in their match at the Stoop, and they’ve been on a superb run that included winning the LV trophy last Sunday. However, rumour has it there was something of a celebration afterwards, and I suspect that Harlequins will be better-prepared for this match.
Here are my Aviva Premiership predictions for Round 18. What do you think?
Sale Sharks v Leeds Carnegie: Sale Sharks by 11
Bath v Leicester Tigers: Leicester Tigers by 5
Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby: Harlequins by 5
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs: London Irish by 9
Northampton Saints v London Wasps: Northampton Saints by 7
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons: Saracens by 19