Bath v London
Irish It is 10 months since London Irish left Bath's fortunes at rock bottom by winning 16-0 at the Recreation Ground – a game watched by a slight, smartly dressed stranger with a briefcase who happened to be in possession of a fortune of his own. His name? Bruce Craig. His business? Buying the club. Only two things could possibly have stopped him: an even worse performance than the one he witnessed, which was barely conceivable, and a breach of confidence by the tiny handful of Bath officials who knew him from Adam.
As it happened, he was almost unmasked after the game when, during a quiet dinner for one in the restaurant next door, he was press-ganged into a game of "spoof" by the former Bath flanker and team manager Simon Jones. Craig won – a man does not make millions by losing at "spoof" – and escaped before being identified. Today, when the Exiles visit again, he will be master of all he surveys, and he will expect to see something decent.
Bath opened with a bonus-point win at Leeds and, with Olly Barkley back in midfield, have a hungry look. But London Irish also made a winning start and travel with 11 full internationals, plus uncapped players as dangerous as Ryan Lamb and Daniel Bowden.
Gloucester v Leeds
Tinkerings? There are plenty. The two big losers from last week have each changed a third of their starting line-ups, with Leeds performing the really serious surgery. Christian Lewis-Pratt plays at outside-half, while there are returns up front for the dependable prop Mike MacDonald and heavy-duty flanker Alfie To'oala. Gloucester recall Andy Hazell in the back row.
Harlequins v Northampton
The Midlanders looked mighty impressive at Franklin's Gardens last weekend, and with Shane Geraghty in for the out-of-sorts Stephen Myler at No 10, they should pose an even greater attacking threat today. Quins fancy their chances of a top-six finish and victory here will reinforce that self-belief.
Leicester v Exeter
This is one of those "shut your eyes and pray" days for the Premiership newcomers, who have about as much chance of winning at Welford Road as they do of finding a decent pasty north of the Devon county line. Still, their opening-day win over Gloucester bought them some time and space.
Saracens v Sale
Tomorrow's sole fixture sees the return of the deposed England captain Steve Borthwick to Sarries' squad. Sale give another outing to the teenaged wing Tom Brady.Reuse content