Aviva Premiership briefing

  • Last Updated: May 3 2014, 15:00 BST

Team news and statistics ahead of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership, including Saracens v Worcester.

Alistair Hargreaves: Will captain Saracens
Alistair Hargreaves: Will captain Saracens

Saturday, May 3

Gloucester v London Irish

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies has made three changes from the side beaten by Wasps a fortnight ago, with props Yann Thomas and Sila Puafisi both starting, along with lock Will James. Fly-half Billy Twelvetrees continues as skipper.

London Irish full-back Tom Homer will make his 100th appearance for the Exiles. He will be joined in the back-three by Marland Yarde and Andrew Fenby, with scrum-half Tomas O'Leary captaining a team that also includes a start for Wales international lock Ian Gough.

Last season: Gloucester 12 London Irish 18, London Irish 31 Gloucester 40

Last six league matches: Gloucester W L W W L L; London Irish L L L L W L

Top try scorers: Jonny May (Gloucester) 7; Andy Fenby & Marland Yarde (London Irish) 4

Top point scorers: Freddie Burns (Gloucester) 157; Shane Geraghty (London Irish) 100

Sale v Leicester

Sale, their place in next season's inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup secured, can sign off at home this season by claiming the scalp of play-off contenders Leicester. Rugby director Steve Diamond has named a powerful side, including the likes of Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel and James Gaskell.

Leicester welcome back England forwards Tom Youngs and Geoff Parling for the trip to the AJ Bell Stadium, while Niall Morris reclaims a place in the back division and Owen Williams returns at fly-half. Scrum-half Ben Youngs makes his 100th Premiership appearance.

Last season: Leicester 48 Sale 10, Sale 8 Leicester 20

Last six league matches: Sale W W W W L W; Leicester W W W W W L

Top try scorers: Mark Cueto (Sale) 8; Vereniki Goneva (Leicester) 11

Top point scorers: Danny Cipriani (Sale) 190; Owen Williams (Leicester) 174

Saracens v Worcester

Lock Alistair Hargreaves will captain Saracens instead of a rested Steve Borthwick, while hooker Schalk Brits packs down in the front-row alongside Mako Vunipola and Matt Stevens. Flanker Jacques Burger is rested, Kelly Brown moves to the bench and scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth replaces Neil de Kock as a solitary back division change.

Worcester boss Dean Ryan names an unchanged team for the first time this season as the Warriors head to Allianz Park. Worcester have to beat this season's Heineken Cup finalists to avoid finishing bottom and meaning likely relegation to the Championship.

Last season: Saracens 47 Worcester 17, Worcester 12 Saracens 3

Last six league matches: Saracens W W W W W W; Worcester L L L W L L

Top try scorers: David Strettle (Saracens) 10; David Lemi (Worcester) 6

Top point scorers: Owen Farrell (Saracens) 297; Ignacio Mieres (Worcester) 90

Wasps v Newcastle

Wasps show two enforced changes from the side beaten by Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final opponents Bath last weekend. Centre Charlie Hayter replaces Chris Bell, who suffered a head knock in the Bath game, while lock Tom Palmer takes over from an injured Kearnan Myall.

Prop Kieran Brookes returns from suspension as one of five Newcastle changes to the team beaten by Saracens a fortnight ago. Other switches include starts for hooker Scott Lawson and centre Gonzalo Tiesi, who partners James Fitzpatrick in midfield.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last six league matches: Wasps L L W L L W; Newcastle L L L L L L

Top try scorers: Christian Wade (Wasps) 5; Noah Cato (Newcastle) 4 Top point scorers: Andy Goode (Wasps) 187; Rory Clegg (Newcastle) 118

Sunday May 4

Exeter v Harlequins

Exeter, crushed at home by Sale last time out, show a number of changes from that game. Among those returning to action include forwards Dean Mumm, Carl Rimmer, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Hoani Tui as the Chiefs play their final home game of the campaign.

Harlequins show three changes from the team beaten by Amlin Challenge Cup opponents Northampton a week ago, with wing Tom Williams and fly-half Nick Evans both returning from injury, while lock Nick Kennedy replaces George Robson, who suffered a knock against the Saints.

Last season: Harlequins 16 Exeter 27, Exeter 42 Harlequins 28

Last six league matches: Exeter L W L L W L; Harlequins L W L W W W

Top try scorers: Dean Mumm & Ben White (Exeter) 5; Sam Smith (Harlequins) 8

Top point scorers: Gareth Steenson (Exeter) 234; Nick Evans (Harlequins) 237