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London Irish look to O'Connor effect
ESPN Staff
October 31, 2013
James O'Connor could make his debut for Irish this weekend © Getty Images
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Ahead of the weekend's Aviva Premiership action, ESPN brings you a rundown of the key stats relating to the Round Seven matches.

Worcester Warriors v Bath Rugby

Sixways, Friday, 7.45pm

Worcester Warriors have gained just two losing bonus points so far in this Premiership campaign, and have not won in any competition since their 29-23 triumph over London Wasps at Sixways on March 1. By contrast Bath arrive on the back of a three-match winning streak, which includes last week's victory over rivals Gloucester in the West Country derby.

But Worcester can take some comfort from Bath's away record - Gary Gold's side have won just once on the road in the Premiership since September 2012, when they defeated Newcastle 21-0 at the start of this campaign.

Bath have the upper-hand in terms of recent meetings between the two sides, with Worcester's 16-7 win at Sixways in November 2011 the only time they have won in their last dozen encounters.

Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs

AJ Bell Stadium, Friday, 8pm

Exeter's 40-6 demolition of Worcester last weekend saw them climb into the top four for the first time since the opening round last season, while Sale lie in seventh with three wins and three defeats.

Sale's three-game winning run in all competitions ended against Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, but they have lost just once at AJ Bell Stadium since February - the 15-14 reverse to Newcastle in Round Two.

Sale won 21-16 at AJ Bell Stadium the last time these two sides met in the Premiership, but Exeter have claimed victory in all five of the previous meetings between the pair.

Gloucester Rugby v London Wasps

Kingsholm, Saturday, 5pm

Gloucester have won just once at Kingsholm in the Premiership this season, their 26-24 win over Northampton in Round Three, and have slipped to three defeats in their last four matches in all competitions. Wasps are enjoying an opposite vein of form and have lost just one of their last five, but have not won on the road in the Premiership since beating Harlequins 17-16 at Twickenham Stoop in February.

The last four encounters between these two sides have all been won by the home side, and have also given fans a feast of rugby - with at least 50 points scored in each. Wasps last won at Kingsholm in October 2009 when they romped to a 35-6 win.

Only winless Worcester have a worse record than Gloucester in the Premiership, but have the same number of wins and losses as Wasps, who are three points ahead of the Cherry and Whites in the league table by virtue of a superior bonus points record.

Leicester Tigers v Harlequins

Welford Road, Saturday, 5.30pm

Harlequins halted a four-game losing run with last weekend's 24-3 victory over Sale at Twickenham Stoop but have not triumphed on the road in the Premiership since defeating Worcester at Sixways at the end of September. Leicester Tigers have won just once in their last four fixtures - against Treviso at Welford Road in the Heineken Cup.

In this fixture last season victory went to the home side on both occasions in the regular season but Richard Cockerill's side won when it mattered, coming out on top with a 33-16 win in the play-off semi-final in May.

Harlequins have had a remarkable recent run of success at Welford Road, with three wins from their last five visits in all competitions, but Leicester have not lost at home in any competition since their 32-27 defeat to Saracens in September 2012.

London Irish v Northampton Saints

Madejski Stadium, Sunday, 2pm

Northampton Saints travel to Berkshire after their impressive 42-20 dismantling of top-of-the-table Saracens at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday, and have now handed Sarries their two biggest Premiership defeats since 2009. But they have won just once on the road this season, against Harlequins on September 13.

Meanwhile London Irish will turn to new signing James O'Connor looking to continue their impressive form at the Madejski Stadium, where they have lost just once this season - a 29-23 defeat to Exeter in September. Their three-game winning run in all competitions came to an end at the hands of Newcastle last weekend.

Both encounters between these two sides ended in a comfortable victory for the home side, 39-17 at the Madejski Stadium and 40-14 at Franklin's Gardens, although Northampton have been successful in three of their last four trips to Reading in the Premiership.

Saracens v Newcastle Falcons

Allianz Park, Sunday 3pm

After an undefeated start to the season Saracens slipped to a second successive defeat at Northampton on Saturday. Their last defeat at Allianz Park in all competitions was also at the hands of Northampton, who beat them on home soil at last year's Premiership semi-final.

The Falcons have won three of their last four matches in all competitions and have risen to eighth place in the table, and their away form is even more impressive - with four wins from their last five trips away from Kingston Park in the Premiership.

Newcastle's 13-9 triumph over Sarries at Kingston Park in February 2009 is the last time in eight fixtures they have won this encounter. Their last win on Saracens soil was even further back in 2007.

Stuart Farmer Media Services for Premiership Rugby

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