Aviva Premiership Rugby is back on your screens this weekend with three must-watch clashes.
Even at this early stage of the season, Gloucester Rugby’s trip to Northampton Saints could prove to be a make-or-break encounter for either side.
At ninth and tenth respectively in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings, Northampton and Gloucester will both be frustrated with their starts to the season. But a win this weekend could potentially be enough to propel either side into the Aviva Premiership Rugby top six.
Live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4k UHD under the Friday Night Lights at 7pm, Saints will be confident having not lost to the Cherry & Whites in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters.
Gloucester have not won at Franklin’s Gardens since February 2013, but are unbeaten in their last five away games in all tournaments since losing at Leicester Tigers back in April. David Humphreys’ side will also be high on confidence after two resounding European Rugby Challenge Cup victories.
— Rugby Tonight (@RugbyTonight) October 27, 2016
Saturday sees a clash of two of the league’s heavyweights live on BT Sport 2, BT Sport 4k UHD and BT Sport Showcase, Freeview channel 59, from 2.30pm; the great champions of old in Leicester Tigers travelling to Allianz Park to take on the new guard in Saracens.
The hosts have lost just one of their last 18 fixtures in all tournaments, and lost only one of their last five encounters with Tigers.
Indeed, you have to go back to February 2012 for a Leicester victory on Saracens’ soil, but having got the measure of the Wolfpack at Welford Road last season and toppling French giants Racing 92 last weekend, Richard Cockerill knows another victory here will make a massive statement.
On Sunday, there is a West Country derby in store as Exeter Chiefs welcome Bath Rugby to Sandy Park.
With coverage beginning at 2.30pm on BT Sport 1 & BT Sport 4k UHD, Chiefs are in need of a victory having lost their last four fixtures in all tournaments.
Given last year’s form, few would have bet on Bath being seven points clear of Chiefs after the first six games of this season, but under the stewardship of Todd Blackadder they have only lost once (14-34 at Leicester Tigers in Round 4).
Each side won its respective home game by a narrow margin when the two sides met in Aviva Premiership Rugby last season, and while Bath have lost two in a row at Sandy Park, with local bragging rights on the line this is set to be another grandstand encounter.
Should you miss out on any of the weekend’s action, BT Sport and ITV will once again be showing highlights programmes throughout the season. Catch every score from Round 7’s opening two days on BT Sport 1 at 9pm on Saturday, while ITV’s highlights hosted by Mark Durden-Smith and David Flatman will be on air on Sunday at 11.15pm (ITV), Monday at 6.00pm (ITV4), and Tuesday at midnight (ITV4).
And Rugby Tonight Extra will provide midweek insight on Wednesday at 10pm on BT Sport 1.
Friday 28 October
Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby
Programme starts at 7pm, kick-off 7.45pm BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4k UHD
Saturday 29 October
Saracens v Leicester Tigers
Programme starts at 2.30pm, kick-off at 3pm BT Sport 2, BT Sport 4k UHD and BT Sport Showcase, Freeview channel 59
Sunday 30 October
Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby
Programme starts at 2.30pm, kick-off 3pm BT Sport 1 & BT Sport 4k UHD
9pm BT Sport 1
Wednesday – Rugby Tonight Extra 10pm BT Sport 1