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Rugby Union: The Gallagher Rolls On


Leicester Tigers, who lead the Premiership table by 12 points, will be favourites to win at Welford Road on Saturday when London Irish, the top try scorers in the league, aim to reverse their losing sequence away at the home of the giants of East Midlands rugby.

Tigers’ coach, Steve Borthwick, is on a mission too..to return to winning ways after losing 34-27 at Saracens last weekend, so the scene is set for what should be a cracking game.

One major aspect of the contest will be to see how London Irish’s attack, which has scored 69 tries in the Premiership, is able to break through the Tigers’ defence which is the joint best in the league, having conceded 38 tries in 18 matches.

Irish, who thrashed Worcester 43-12 last weekend and in doing so scored seven tries, have a weak record at Welford Road, so it would be a big shock if they were to beat Leicester, unbeaten in the 11 games played at home in all competitions this season.

In fact, Irish have won only twice at Welford Road in the Premiership, back in 2003 and 2014, so the signs are not favourable.

But the Brentford based club are in decent form under the guidance of head coach, Les Kiss, having lost only once in their previous six league matches, so they may head back south with a losing bonus point.

The current good form of Irish’s three Argentina players, Augustin Creevy, Lucio Cinti and Juan Martin Gonzalez, needs to reach a higher level against Leicester if the London side are to produce a massive surprise.

Can Newcastle shock Saracens?

You have to feel sorry for Newcastle who are having the toughest of times – seven successive defeats in the Premiership – and while periodically they played some threatening rugby against champions Harlequins in the last game, they still finished losing 24-10.

Now, just when they need a victory, the fixture list sends Saracens up to the North East, fresh from beating Leicester Tigers in the last round.

Head coach Dave Walder and his squad have a huge challenge against the former European and Premiership champions who surely are strong favourites to win at Kingston Park.

The Falcons may struggle to smash Saracens’ defence which has let in only 38 tries..joint tightest with Leicester – so it’s hard to imagine a home win.

Going into the game, Saracens, second in the table with 59 points, take on a Newcastle side(11th) which has lost 11 games in 17 and a team that has won only five and has managed to chalk up 26 points, more than 30 behind their opponents.