TOP BAR - Fixtures

Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs in live European TV action

Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs in live European TV action

The second round of European rugby gets underway on Thursday and the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs will be looking to build on the opening weekend with nine clubs live on TV.

A West Country derby kicks off proceedings in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Thursday night as Bath Rugby welcome Bristol Rugby to the Recreation Ground at 7.45pm in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

This will be the second time the West Country rivals have met in European competition. The first time out, Bath beat Bristol in the 2007 Challenge Cup quarter-final 51-12.

The home side come into this match having won 24 of their previous 25 home Challenge Cup matches, and with an in-form Rhys Priestland whose 20-point haul in last week’s win over Pau was more than any other player in round 1.

Then on Saturday, BT Sport’s cameras will be trained on BT Murrayfield as Edinburgh take on last season’s Challenge Cup runners-up Harlequins at 3.15pm.

Edinburgh have won five of their last seven European games against Premiership Rugby opposition and are currently on an eight-game winning streak at home in the Challenge Cup. But Quins looked impressive downing Stade Francais last Thursday to kick off their campaign in style.

First out of the blocks in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Friday night, Sale Sharks look to end a 12-match losing run in Europe’s premier competition on BT Sport at 7.45pm.

But it will not be easy against the three-time champions Toulon who did the double over Sale in the 2012-13 pool stages, including a 62-0 defeat that remains Sale’s heaviest in the tournament.

On Saturday, Northampton Saints are first in action as they face familiar opposition in the form of Castres at 3.15pm at the Stade Pierre Antoine.

The Sky Sports cameras will be trained on a Northampton side looking to build on last week’s dramatic late victory over Montpellier against a side they have beaten in five of their eight previous meetings.

Castres have lost their last five games against Premiership Rugby opposition in the tournament, although their last win against an English club was against Northampton in 2013.

Defending champions Saracens are next in action, also on Sky Sports, when they kick off against Scarlets on Saturday at 5.30pm at Allianz Park.

These two sides have never met in Europe before and Saracens are looking to extend their run of 10 straight wins in the competition. They have not lost at home in Europe since 2013 while Scarlets – who impressed in beating Sale last time out – have not won consecutive games in this competition since 2011.

The last game on Saturday sees Exeter Chiefs ready to bounce back when they travel to Belfast to take on Ulster. The BT Sport cameras will hope to capture history when Chiefs play at the Kingspan Stadium for the first time ever. The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

On Sunday, Wasps – fresh from their 12-try win over Zebre – travel to the south of France to take on European powerhouses Toulouse at the Stade Ernest Wallon at 3.15pm.

BT Sport will cover the seventh meeting between these two sides in Europe and while Wasps are riding high, the French side have lost their last five in the Champions Cup – their worst run in the competition.

Then at 5.30pm, Leicester Tigers welcome Racing 92 to Welford Road live on BT Sport in a re-match of last year’s Champions Cup semi-final, a game the French side edged by three points.

Tigers have not lost at home to Top 14 opposition in Europe since 2005 but will need to bounce back from defeat to Glasgow Warriors last time out when they totalled just 218 metres over the gainline, the lowest of any side in the opening weekend.

All times are UK and Ireland Times

European Rugby Champions Cup

Friday

7.45pm – Sale Sharks v RC Toulon BT Sport

Saturday

3.15pm – Castres Olympique v Northampton Saints Sky Sports

5.30pm – Saracens v Scarlets Sky Sports

7.45pm – Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs BT Sport

Sunday

3.15pm – Toulouse v Wasps BT Sport

5.30pm – Leicester Tigers v Racing 92 BT Sport

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Thursday

7.45pm – Bath Rugby v Bristol Rugby Sky Sports

Saturday

3.15pm – Edinburgh Rugby v Harlequins BT Sport

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