Aviva Premiership: Dave Attwood & more – three players to watch

Aviva Premiership: Sam Rogers takes a look at three players to watch in round three this weekend

Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby v Saracens)

The boys from the Rec have had a solid start to the season, the highlight being a drubbing of Leicester two weeks ago. They now face their biggest test of the season so far when they welcome the dangerous Saracens to the West Country. Sarries have a wealth of attacking brilliance in their lockers and Bath will need to front up and be right on the mark at the breakdown if they are to get a result from this game. Dave Attwood will be key for his side as he is been in prolific form this term, and will need to be ever present at the breakdown to disrupt the service to Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson who if given time and space can unlock the many attacking weapons he has behind him. Attwood has been superb at the ruck this season, securing turnovers and disrupting play at every occasion. If he can replicate his form in this match, the crowd will be lifted and the players will believe they can get a result on the day.

Fergus Mulchrone (London Irish v Northampton Saints)

The former Sale utility-back is one of the more versatile in the league, with his ability to operate at full-back as well as in the midfield where he will be key for his side. A strong tackler and great runner with ball in hand, Mulchrone will need to face up against a formidable Saints back line, boasting international experience. He will have to support his captain Shane Geraghty who has been brilliant this season as the pair must be the source of their sides front foot rugby. He will also have to be at his sharpest defensively and lead the line to prevent conceding on the break. With the likes of Foden, North, Burrell and Myler to contend with, it could be a long day for the former Macclesfield man, but if he plays to potential, it will be a big day for Mulchrone at the Madejski.

James Gaskell (Sale Sharks v London Wasps)

Wasps have had a strong start to the season – two decent wins interspersed with two narrow last-gasp defeats from their four matches so far. They travel up to Salford to take on Sale Sharks a side who themselves have enjoyed a steady start to year with the resurgent Danny Cipriani in their ranks. Never an easy place to go and win, Wasps will need to be on top form and without England lock Joe Launchbury in their side, James Gaskell will need to lead from the front at the breakdown. The former Shark returns to the place he called home for six seasons and nearly a hundred games until the start of this season. He has all the talents to be a huge star in the premiership and at 24 has plenty of time to improve but he was highly thought of in the North-West before he left last season. He has the pace with ball in hand and is a threat at the ruck and in the lineout. He can play lock or on the flank, and will be instrumental to providing enough service for the likes of Will Hesu, Chris

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