Aviva Premiership briefing
Team and statistics ahead of this weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership
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(League positions before the weekend in brackets)
Saturday, October 26
Exeter show three changes from the side beaten by Heineken Cup opponents Glasgow last weekend. Prop Brett Sturgess returns instead of Ben Moon, while hooker Jack Yeandle is preferred to Chris Whitehead and wing Fetu'u Vainikolo takes over from Ian Whitten, who suffered a hamstring injury during the Glasgow game.
Tonga international prop Ofa Fainga'anuku makes his Worcester debut, while hooker Agustin Creevy is handed a first start along with lock Mariano Galarza. Elsewhere, skipper Jonathan Thomas moves to number eight, packing down in the back-row alongside Jake Abbott and Richard de Carpentier.
Last season: Worcester 18 Exeter 24, Exeter 33 Worcester 9
Top try scorers: Dean Mumm (Exeter) 3; David Lemi (Worcester) 2
Top point scorers: Gareth Steenson (Exeter) 88; Ignacio Mieres (Worcester) 41
Quins boss Conor O'Shea has made six changes from the side that gained a losing bonus point against Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup last weekend. England trio Mike Brown, Joe Marler and Chris Robshaw are unavailable, so Nick Easter captains a team that also sees Tom Williams at full-back, Sam Smith and Ugo Monye on the wings and scrum-half Danny Care on the bench after being released by England.
Centre Jonny Leota lines up in Sale's midfield as the solitary back division change following last Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup win gainst Worcester. Up-front, there are starts for hooker Tommy Taylor, prop Henry Thomas and flanker Dan Braid, while Jonathan Mills moves to the second-row alongside Andrei Ostrikov.
Last season: Sale 21 Harlequins 30, Harlequins 37 Sale 14
Top try scorers: Danny Care (Harlequins) 2; Mark Cueto (Sale) 3
Top point scorers: Nick Evans (Harlequins) 75; Danny Cipriani (Sale) 48
Phil Dowson captains a Northampton side showing five changes following last Sunday's Heineken Cup win against the Ospreys. Ken Pisi features on the wing, Kahn Fotuali'i starts at scrum-half, and there are opportunities in the pack for hooker Mike Haywood, flanker Calum Clark and number eight Sam Dickinson.
Nils Mordt is handed Saracens' number 10 jersey with Owen Farrell away on England duty, while prop Richard Barrington makes a full debut as Mako Vunipola also has Test commitments and Wales international Rhys Gill is recovering from a shoulder injury that will sideline him until the New Year. Michael Tagicakibau, meanwhile, replaces England wing Chris Ashton.
Last season: Saracens 17 Northampton 16, Northampton 6 Saracens 16
Top try scorers: Samu Manoa and George Pisi (Northampton) 2; David Strettle (Saracens) 4
Top point scorers: Stephen Myler (Northampton) 72; Owen Farrell (Saracens) 102
Sunday, October 27
Newcastle boss Dean Richards makes seven changes from the side beaten in European action by Brive last weekend. Centre Danny Barnes is called up, while full-back Alex Tait returns after recovering from a virus, wing Tom Catterick replaces Sean Brown and Rory Clegg and Mike Blair team up at half-back. Experienced forwards Carlo del Fava and Ally Hogg also start.
Chris Hala'ufia returns to the London Irish back-row as one of several changes as the Exiles resume Premiership business. Hala'ufia packs down alongside Ofisa Treviranus and Blair Cowan, who was recently named in Scotland's autumn Tests squad. Wales international lock Ian Gough also starts, while Ian Humphreys and Tomas O'Leary forge the half-back combination.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Top try scorers: Mike Blair and Tom Catterick (Newcastle) 1; Marland Yarde (London Irish) 4
Top point scorers: Rory Clegg (Newcastle) 25; Myles Dorrian (London Irish) 38
Wasps, eager to start climbing the Premiership table, welcome back Elliot Daly, Tom Palmer and Ashley Johnson to starting duties, while Ben Jacobs partners skipper Chris Bell in midfield and there is also a start for England wing Christian Wade.
Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill, who returns to match-day duties after serving a nine-game touchline ban, welcomes back Argentina international prop Marcos Ayerza from Test duty, but England commitments sideline Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole and Geoff Parling. Welshman Owen Williams replaces Flood, while centre Terrence Hepetema joins Williams in making a full debut.
Last season: Leicester 35 Wasps 16, Wasps 14 Leicester 12
Top try scorers: Chris Bell, Ashley Johnson and Christian Wade (Wasps) 2; Vereniki Goneva (Leicester) 3
Top point scorers: Andy Goode (Wasps) 55; Toby Flood (Leicester) 51