Fixtures, TV channel, live stream and highlights for this weekend

The second round of Premiership rugby kicks off this weekend with perennial threat Saracens entering the fray after a bye week in a tumultuous first round.

Last season’s champions Leicester Tigers suffered a loss to start their title defense at Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins managed to get a result at Kingston Park, and Sale held out a determined Northampton Saints side at the end.

Round one results

Round two is set to bring some exciting clashes, although we’re all just thankful that rugby is going ahead at all for Worcester Warriors, amid ongoing uncertainty at Sixways over the club’s future.

Here’s all you need to know about this weekend’s six matches.

How to watch

Northampton Saints vs London Irish

  • Saturday 17 September, 2pm kick-off

London Irish will face a sterner test than last week’s convincing win over an embattled Worcester side which sent them top. Northampton luck Sale to a losing bonus point at the AJ Bell last weekend and will expect to secure a win at Franklin’s Gardens.

Dan Biggar returns to captain the Saints, while Tom Collins moves to the wing after last weekend’s brace of tries to make space for Matt Proctor in the centre.


Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar (c), 9 Alex Mitchell, 1 Alex Waller, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Alex Moon, 6 Alex Coles, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 8 Juarno Augustus; Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Brandon Nansen, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Tom Litchfield, 23 Courtnall Skosan

London Irish: 15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Facundo Gigena, 2 Matt Cornish, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Matt Rogerson; Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Caolan Englefield, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Will Joseph

Prediction: Northampton town 13

Bath Rugby vs Sale Sharks

  • Saturday 17 September, 3pm kick-off

Although their campaign started with a loss, Bath will take heart that the 31-29 showing at Bristol is an improvement in form upon last season’s torrid start.

Sale remain an imposing outfit, and while the return of Joe Cokanasiga and Jonathan Joseph in particular are boosts to the hosts, defeating the Sharks at the Rec remains an ask.

Jonny Hill will make his first start for the visitors, who boast a bench featuring three more internationals in the shape of Jono Ross, Tom Curry and Joe Simpson.


Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Will Muir, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Ben Spencer (c); 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Josh McNally, 6 Josh Bayliss, 7 Wesley White, 8 Jaco Coetzee; Replacements: 16 Tom Doughty, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Will Spencer, 20 GJ van Velze, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Richard de Carpentier

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Gus Warr; 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Cobus Wiese, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Ben Curry (c), 8 Daniel du Preez; Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 James Harper, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Arron Reed

Prediction: Sale by six

Harlequins vs Saracens

  • Saturday 17 September, 2pm kick-off, coverage starts 2.30pm on BT Sport 3

Joe Marchant, Will Evans and Will Collier will make their first starts of the campaign for the hosts at a sold-out Stoop in this London derby which always has a bit of venom to it.

Wales center Nick Tompkins is set to make his 150th start for Saracens, while their second row Hugh Tizard faces his old club to kick off the campaign for his new one.


Harlequins: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar (c), 9 Alex Mitchell, 1 Alex Waller, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Alex Moon, 6 Alex Coles, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 8 Juarno Augustus; Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Brandon Nansen, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Tom Litchfield, 23 Courtnall Skosan

Saracens: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 1 Eroni Mawi, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 3 Christian Judge, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Hugh Tizard, 6 Theo McFarland, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola; Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Andy Christie, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Duncan Taylor

Prediction: Saracen’s city 8

More pious Rugby Union

Leicester Tigers vs Newcastle Falcons

Leicester Tigers’ Hanro Liebenberg starts at No 8 against Newcastle Falcons (Picture:Getty Images)
  • Saturday 17 September, 3pm kick-off

Tigers hope to get their title defense back on track after a close loss at Exeter by welcoming back England tourists Ollie Chessum, Joe Heyes, Jack van Poortvliet and Guy Porter into the fold. Jimmy Gopperth starts, too, which is exciting and fun.

Newcastle’s side looks a little light after many injuries, and boasts of having 10 ex-academy players in the starting XV. It might be a tough away trip.


Leicester Tigers: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 George Martin, 7 Ollie Chessum, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c); Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Olly Cracknell, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Phil Cokanasiga, 23 Kini Murimurivalu

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (c), 7 Jamie Blamire, 8 Carl Fearns.; Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Mateo Carreras

Prediction: Leicester city 17

Wasps vs Bristol Bears

  • Saturday 17 September, 3pm kick-off

Ellis Genge is sadly rested for the Bears after his bulldozing antics last week, Jake Woolmore taking his place in the front row.

For Wasps, Tom and Jack Willis start in a back row not short on explosive power, alongside Alfie Barbeary. Ali Crossdale at full-back is also worth watching – he’s in fine form at the moment.


Wasps: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Will Porter, 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 John Ryan, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 5 Kiran McDonald , 6 Tom Willis, 7 Jack Willis (c), 8 Alfie Barbeary; Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Tom West, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Tim Cardall, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Will Haydon-Wood

Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Jack Bates, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Will Capon, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Joe Joyce, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Sam Jeffries, 7 Jake Heenan (c), 8 Magnus Bradbury; Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Andy Uren, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Rich Lane

Prediction: Wasps by seven

Worcester Warriors vs Exeter Chiefs

  • Saturday 17 September, 3pm kick-off

Owen Williams makes his return for Worcester after the Warriors met an RFU deadline to provide assurances the match could go ahead amid potential new ownership and financial constraints.

The situation was made light of by the Warriors’ Twitter account, who announced the team with a graphic humorously made on a shoestring budget (see below).

Rob Baxter, meanwhile, has called for his Exeter side to stay focused on the match and not on Worcester, selecting an unchanged side captained by Jack Yeandle.


Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter (c), 11 Alex Hearle, 9 Gareth Simpson, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Curtis Langdon, 3 Murray McCallum, 4 Joe Batley , 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 7 Cameron Neild, 8 Tom Dodd; Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Noah Heward

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Joe Simmonds, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Stu Townsend, 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 3 Marcus Street, 4 Jack Dunne, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 8 Richard Capstick; Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Ruben Van Heerden, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Solomone Kata, 23 Facundo Cordero

Prediction: City of Exeter 17

Highlights for round 1 of the Gallagher Premiership are available on BT Sport

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