With the official Autumn international calendar over, Premiership Rugby is boosted this weekend for Round 10 with a vast array of internationals returning to the domestic frontier.
Wales, though, will play this weekend and Bath look set to be hit with a hefty fine, in the region of £60,000 as their man Toby Faletau has been released for international duty, outside the World Rugby scheduled dates.
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints will be looking to regain form on Friday evening after successive defeats when Newcastle Falcons visit Franklins Gardens.
Saints were the first side to fall to Worcester Warriors in Round 8 and were defeated again by Sale Sharks last weekend, but should bounce back to form against a Falcons side who are now on a streak of four reverses and counting.
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
After waiting eight rounds for a first victory, Worcester Warriors are now two from two and seeking a hat-trick of wins when Sale Sharks make a trip to Sixways for what promises to be a fierce Friday night lights encounter.
First it was Northampton Saints, then Leicester Tigers last weekend, meaning the Warriors charge into this fixture buoyant, while Sale Sharks ended a run of three successive defeats against the Saints last weekend, but could be thwarted this time around.
Exeter Chiefs v Bath
Defending Premiership Rugby champions Exeter Chiefs will seek a fifth successive victory on Saturday as Bath visit the ever-partisan Sandy Park.
Bath are in reasonable form themselves with back-to-back wins pushing them up to third place in the standings, but the Chiefs comfortably top of the pile with a six-point buffer on Bath – and the home advantage should pay dividends.
Gloucester v London Irish
Gloucester will look to gain a fifth win on the bounce as they welcome rock bottom London Irish to Kingsholm on Saturday.
With Worcester’s recent upturn in form, the Exiles are now propping up the Premiership table having not won since Round 1 and a return to winning ways is not likely against an in-form Cherry and Whites.
Wasps v Leicester Tigers
Wasps will be out to continue advancing up the Premiership Rugby ladder on Saturday as Leicester Tigers make the short trip to their neighbours at the Ricoh Arena.
Wasps progressed to sixth in the standing last weekend with victory over London Irish, while the Tigers slipped into fourth by becoming only the second side to lose to Worcester Warriors and they will be desperate to bounce back with their internationals back in the ranks.
Harlequins v Saracens
Harlequins host the lone Sunday Premiership Rugby fixture at The Stoop with a reigning Champions Cup winners Saracens the guests.
John Kingston’s Quins have lost their last three outings – and despite defeat to defending English champions Exeter Chiefs, Saracens travel across London as overwhelming favourites for victory.