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PREMIERSHIP STATISTICS

Published 15/04/2016

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Latest rugby union news

Aviva Premiership

Saturday, April 16

Northampton (5) v Leicester (4)

England captain Dylan Hartley and Wales wing George North are again absent for Northampton, with Saints boss Jim Mallinder making four changes following last weekend's European Champions Cup quarter-final defeat against Saracens as full-back Ahsee Tuala, scrum-half Tom Kessell, prop Kieran Brookes and flanker Tom Wood all start, with Wood skippering the side.

Leicester are unchanged from the side that sent French challengers Stade Francais crashing out of Europe last weekend. Full-back Mathew Tait again captains the team, while scrum-half Sam Harrison and lock Ed Slater feature among Tigers' replacements following their late withdrawals ahead of the Stade clash.

Last season: Leicester 22 Northampton 14, Northampton 23 Leicester 19

Last six league matches: Northampton W W W L W L, Leicester W W L W L W

Top try scorers: Lee Dickson (Northampton) 6; Telusa Veainu (Leicester) 7

Top point scorers: Stephen Myler (Northampton) 178; Freddie Burns (Leicester) 130

Saracens (1) v Harlequins (6)

England prop Mako Vunipola will captain Saracens against Quins at Wembley. Fly-half Owen Farrell is on the bench, with Charlie Hodgson starting, and lock Jim Hamilton features in a rotation switch for Maro Itoje, partnering George Kruis. Marcelo Bosch and Duncan Taylor team up in midfield, with Neil de Kock at scrum-half.

Quins rugby director Conor O'Shea has made four changes following last Saturday's European Challenge Cup win against London Irish, as Joe Marchant, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews and Nick Easter all start. Quins say that Luke Wallace (concussion), George Lowe (hip), James Horwill (leg), Nick Evans (leg) and Joe Marler (suspension) will all be available for next Friday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Grenoble.

Last season: Saracens 42 Harlequins 14, Harlequins 0 Saracens 39

Last six league matches: Saracens D L W L W W, Harlequins L L W L L W

Top try scorers: Mike Ellery (Saracens) 5; Tim Visser (Harlequins) 9

Top point scorers: Owen Farrell (Saracens) 256; Ben Botica (Harlequins) 172

Worcester (10) v Wasps (3)

Worcester boss Dean Ryan has made five changes for Wasps' Sixways visit, with wing Tom Biggs, centre Ryan Mills, prop Nick Schonert, hooker Jaba Bregvadze and flanker Phil Dowson all starting as the Warriors target a fourth successive Premiership home win.

Wasps, fresh from booking a place in the Champions Cup semi-finals, call up full-back Rob Miller, lock Bradley Davies and flanker Thomas Young, who replaces a rested George Smith. Elsewhere, Charles Piutau switches to centre, where he partners Elliot Daly, and wing Christian Wade makes his 100th first team appearance.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last six league matches: Worcester L W W W W L, Wasps W L W W W W

Top try scorers: Cooper Vuna (Worcester) 6; Frank Halai (Wasps) 8

Top point scorers: Tom Heathcote (Worcester) 133; Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps) 231

Sunday, April 17

Newcastle (11) v London Irish (12)

Centre Gonzalo Tiesi makes his first senior Newcastle appearance in more than a year after recovering from injury, and he is among four changes to the side beaten by Harlequins a fortnight ago. Tiesi partners Juan Pablo Socino in midfield, with full-back Simon Hammersley also called up and Sean Robinson returning at lock.

Irish show two changes for the trip to Kingston Park in what is a huge game in terms of their Premiership survival prospects. Wing Alex Lewington is recalled after missing three games through injury, while Canada international Jebb Sinclair starts in the back-row instead of Ofisa Treviranus.

Last season: London Irish 22 Newcastle 21, Newcastle 18 London Irish 20

Last six league matches: Newcastle L L L L L L, London Irish L L L W L L

Top try scorers: Nili Latu (Newcastle) 6; Alex Lewington (London Irish) 4

Top point scorers: Mike Delany (Newcastle) 75; Greig Tonks (London Irish) 90

Sale (7) v Bath (9)

Sale will aim to preserve their unbeaten Premiership home record this season when Bath arrive at the AJ Bell Stadium, and rugby director Steve Diamond has made four changes after last Friday's Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat against Montpellier, with centre Sam Tuitupou returning as captain, in addition to starts for wing Will Addison, prop Eifion Lewis-Roberts and number eight Mark Easter.

England fly-half George Ford will skipper Bath against the Sharks, with Wales international Rhys Priestland replacing a suspended Anthony Watson at full-back. Elsewhere, Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph forge the centre partnership, with hooker Rob Webber lining up against the club he will join this summer.

Last season: Bath 12 Sale 3, Sale 20 Bath 29

Last six league matches: Sale D W L L W W, Bath L W L W W L

Top try scorers: Neville Edwards (Sale) 6; Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath) 8

Top point scorers: Danny Cipriani (Sale) 190; George Ford (Bath) 117

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