Three Rounds Remain: Gallagher Premiership Rugby Previews

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LONDON, ENGLAND – With just three rounds to go, the Gallagher Premiership Rugby table is taking shape, but there is still plenty to play for in what promises to be a thrilling Round 20 of action.

Click here to see the full Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 20 statistical preview from Stuart Farmer Media Services

There are two games to kickstart the proceedings on Friday night as Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks host Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby respectively.

Bottom-side Newcastle will be aiming for a seventh-straight win against Northampton Saints as they look to close the gap on 11th-placed Worcester Warriors. Meanwhile, Sale Sharks and Bath both still harbour hopes of featuring in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals and you can watch that match unfold live on BT Sport.

Saturday sees three games take place, starting with Exeter Chiefs taking on Harlequins at Sandy Park, a game live on BT Sport. The hosts have already secured a home semi-final but will want to get back to winning ways after defeat to Wasps last time out, while Harlequins will be hoping to cling on to their fourth spot in the table.

Three Rounds Remain- Gallagher Premiership Rugby Previews, Rugby_Wrap_Up

Leicester Tigers then host Bristol Bears at 3pm before the BT Sport cameras are turned on once again for Wasps versus Saracens, kick-off at 4.30pm. For Saracens, they are back at the Ricoh Arena having beaten Munster there at the weekend to secure a place in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup Final. But Wasps will be buoyed by overcoming League-leaders Exeter last time out and currently sit fifth, just three points behind Harlequins.

Round 20’s final game is also live on BT Sport on Sunday and sees Worcester Warriors host Gloucester Rugby at Sixways. The visitors can secure a semi-final spot but that will be easier said than done against a Worcester side battling to avoid relegation.

Friday 26 April

Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints (Kingston Park, 7.45pm)
Referee: Luke Pearce (89th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Steve Lee & John Meredith. TMO: David Hudson.
Citing Officer: Andy Blyth.

Newcastle Falcons have lost their last two Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches, at Saracens and at home to Leicester. The Falcons’ only victory at Kingston Park in any tournament since November was over Worcester Warriors in Premiership Rugby on 3 March.

Three Rounds Remain- Gallagher Premiership Rugby Previews, Rugby_Wrap_Up

Northampton Saints’ last four matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the away side on the day. The Saints have not won three in succession on the road in Premiership Rugby since December 2014.

The Falcons have won their last six matches against the Saints in Premiership Rugby ending a run of 11 straight wins in the fixture by Northampton.

Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby (AJ Bell Stadium, 7.45pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Thomas Foley (65th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Simon McConnell. TMO: Stuart Terheege.
Citing Officer: Shaun Gallagher.

Sale Sharks’ last four matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. The Sharks have won their last three games at AJ Bell Stadium in all competitions but have not won four in a row there since January 2018.

Bath Rugby’s last four game have all been won by the home side on the day. Bath’s only away victory in any tournament since September was against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in Round 10 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

The last three encounters between the two clubs have been evenly split with one win apiece plus a draw whilst Bath’s only previous victory in Premiership Rugby at AJ Bell Stadium came in the opening round of the 2014-15 campaign.

Saturday 27 April

Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins (Sandy Park, 2pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (62nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Phil Watters. TMO: Geoff Warren.
Citing Officer: Andrew Pearce.

Exeter Chiefs’ five game winning run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their home defeat to Wasps in Round 19. The Chiefs have not lost successive matches in the tournament since February 2018 whilst they have not lost back-to-back Premiership Rugby matches at Sandy Park in the same season for five years.

Harlequins only victory in their last six first team fixtures was 18-16 at Worcester in the quarter-final of the European Challenge Cup. The Londoners most recent victory in Gallagher Premiership Rugby was at Bath on 2 March.

Harlequins beat Exeter 28-26 in Round 9 to end an eight game Chiefs winning run in the fixture.

Harlequins have not been victorious at Sandy Park since May 2014.

Leicester Tigers v Bristol Bears (Welford Road, 3pm)
Referee: Karl Dickson (18th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & Hamish Smales. TMO: Rowan Kitt.
Citing Officer: John Byett.

Leicester Tigers’ victory at Newcastle in Round 19 ended a three-game losing run. The Tigers have not won back-to-back matches since October.

Bristol Bears’ three game losing run in all competitions ended with their 23-21 victory over Saracens in Round 19 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. The Bears have won just once away from home in

Premiership Rugby since New Year’s Day 2017: 26-24 at Northampton in Round 16.

Bristol beat Leicester 41-10 at Ashton Gate in round 9 but have never achieved a season’s League double over Leicester. Bristol’s only victory at Welford Road since 1987 came in the quarter-final of the Zurich Championship in May 2002.

Wasps v Saracens (Ricoh Arena 4.30pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Wayne Barnes (215th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Rob Warburton. TMO: David Grashoff.
Citing Officer: Buster White.

Wasps have won their last two matches, at home to Worcester and away at Exeter, but have not won three in succession since September. Wasps have not won back-to-back fixtures at the Ricoh Arena since last April.

Saracens record in the last ten rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby is won five lost five. Saracens have lost their last four away games in all competitions but have not lost five in succession on the road for a decade.

Saracens’ only defeat to Wasps since February 2016 was 15-35 at the Ricoh Arena in Round 22 of season 2016-17. Saracens have won on four of their last five visits to the Ricoh Arena including last Saturday’s triumph over Munster.

Sunday 28 April

Worcester Warriors v Gloucester Rugby (Sixways, 3pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: JP Doyle (169th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Jonathan Healy. TMO: Graham Hughes.
Citing Officer: Paul Hull.

Worcester Warriors have won two of their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures whilst at Sixways they have lost just twice in Premiership Rugby since September – to Northampton in Round 10 and Exeter in Round 16.

Gloucester Rugby have won their last four Gallagher Premiership Rugby encounters since their reversal at Bristol on 1 March. The Cherry & Whites have not won five in a row in the tournament since December 2017.

Gloucester’s only defeat in their last five fixtures with Worcester was 15-25 in this equivalent game at Sixways in Round 15 last season.

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Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00