Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 9: Social media preview
It’s not just on the training pitch where the 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby teams are gearing up for another action-packed weekend of drama as Round 9 comes into focus.
The social media channels have also been busy hyping up six more intriguing top-flight battles, with each side looking to head into the European break with their tails up.
In the pick of the fixtures, Saracens will welcome Wasps to Allianz Park as Dai Young’s men look to become the first team to put a dent in the home side’s 100 per cent record this season.
Exeter Chiefs are also unbeaten after eight rounds of action and will head to the Twickenham Stoop on Friday night with designs on maintaining their flawless opening to the 2018/19 campaign.
But Harlequins are enjoying a resurgence under Paul Gustard and will provide a stern examination, having pushed Saracens close when they hosted the joint-league leaders in October.
Meanwhile, tries are almost guaranteed when Bristol Bears take on Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate on Saturday, with both teams possessing plenty of attacking flair in their ranks.
Newcastle Falcons will also want to build on their victory against Bath Rugby last time out when they travel to Franklin’s Gardens, where Northampton Saints will be lying in wait.
Dean Richards’ side picked up only their second win of the season against Bath, but they remain bottom and still have work to do to leapfrog the sides ahead of them in the table.
Worcester Warriors have enjoyed a good run of form since the last European break and Gloucester Rugby will be keen to avoid becoming their latest scalp when they host them at Kingsholm.
Sunday will then see Bath Rugby take on Sale Sharks at the Rec as Todd Blackadder’s troops look to get their season back on track after a disappointing start to the season.
Here’s what social media is talking about ahead of a busy weekend of action:
Fresh from international duty with England, Maro Itoje is looking forward to his return for the Men in Black as he turns his focus back to continuing his club’s sparkling start to the campaign.
🎥 IN FOCUS w/ @maroitoje 🙌
🌹 England's Autumn
🔥 Saracens' Form
🆚 @WaspsRugby Battle
On his return from international duty Itoje reveals how determined he is to help the squad continue their fine run of form, starting with Wasps ⚫️🔴 pic.twitter.com/HTM7M4ETrL
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) November 29, 2018
Itoje is not the only international returning this weekend, with Brad Shields also preparing to return to action for Wasps after a successful Autumn International series with England.
🎥"It’s easy to come back into an environment when everyone is buzzing.”
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) November 29, 2018
Mitch Lees has been talking to Chiefs TV this week ahead of Exeter’s clash against Harlequins, having also made a brief cameo against them earlier this season in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) November 29, 2018
In what can only be described as the best thing you will see this week, James Chisholm did his bit for charity by shaving his hair to look like Burnley boss Sean Dyche. Bravo.
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) November 29, 2018
Once again, Bristol Bears’ social media team has worked wonders by delivering another A-star GIF to mark the return of Alapati Leiua – taking inspiration from The Dark Knight Rises.
🤯 @alapatz is 🔙
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) November 30, 2018
Bristol’s opposition Leicester Tigers are also excited for the return of Ellis Genge, nicknamed the Baby Rhino, as he is set to make his first appearance of the season for the club.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) November 30, 2018
Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley will make his 250th appearance for the club when he lines up against Newcastle Falcons at Franklin’s Gardens.
👨🏻✈️8️⃣ years captain
— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) November 30, 2018
Mark Wilson was also recognised this week for his stellar contribution for England during the November Tests, with the fans voting him as the player of the series.
🗳️ THE VOTES ARE IN! 🏅
— Sky Sports Rugby (@SkySportsRugby) November 27, 2018
Gloucester Rugby prepared for their clash against Worcester Warriors by welcoming new signing Franco Mostert following the end of South Africa’s Autumn Internationals.
Greetings 👋🏼 pic.twitter.com/yPubKdSBnj
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) November 30, 2018
Ethan Waller was on media duties for Worcester Warriors this week as he previewed the trip to Kingsholm and discussed Chris Pennell’s upcoming Testimonial pantomime.
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) November 28, 2018
Bath Rugby resigned James Wilson following his successful stint with the club last season and the versatile New Zealand-born back took to Twitter to celebrate his return.
Hugely grateful to be given another opportunity with the Bath family 🙌🏽 Can’t thank you all enough for the messages this afternoon 😘
— James Wilson (@_JamesWilson_) November 28, 2018
Chris Ashton is also returning for Sale Sharks as he prepares to make his first Premiership Rugby start for the club since joining in the summer following his exploits with England.
— Sale Sharks🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) November 30, 2018