We’re back to a full programme, the first since the announcement of the WXV. Every player now has a newexciting horizon opening up. And she knows that national head coaches will be peering closely at performances as they weigh up their choices for Six Nations squads.
Bristol Bears v Harlequins
Gloucester-Hartpury v Worcester Warriors (livestream)
Loughborough Lightning v Wasps (livestream)
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs
Sale Sharks v DMP Durham Sharks
There’s added spice this weekend as four of the top five clubs meet in combat. Much will depend on availability. Will those coaches want their players exposed to as much match experience as possible, or do they prefer to prepare them as a squad in their own little bubble? Friday’s team announcements will more than usually revealing.
It will be fascinating to see how The Chiefs take on the champions away from home. They have enjoyed a remarkable run of success in the new year, but coming away from NW4 with a win is the rarest of achievements.
The outcome in Loughborough is harder to predict. Lightning and Wasps have match-winners all over the pitch. We can only hope that both are at full strength to provide another large livestream audience with a cracker of a game.
Tom Lindsey has had a tough baptism as interim head coach of the Bears. Life won’t be easier as Quins come visiting. They know they have not been consistently at their best over recent weeks, but have the talent to cause serious damage to home hopes.
The two northern clubs meet for the second time. In their delayed Round 7 match the newbies beat the old hands in Durham with plenty to spare.
It is high time for the Warriors to show their quality; it has been a disappointing season for them thus far. A trip to Hartpury won’t be a cake-walk, but this is a game they really need to take. Despite this brave talk G-H will start as strong favourites.