As last weekend’s three televised fixtures saw 17 tries and a combined 149 points it’s reasonable to expect more of the same ahead of another scintillating round of Aviva Premiership Rugby.
First the cameras home in on the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday night as Sale Sharks put their proud home record to the test against Gloucester Rugby on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD starting from 7pm, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Sharks have only been defeated once at home in their last 13 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches – but that loss was to Gloucester. And the Cherry and Whites will arrive in Sale desperate to right the wrongs of the last two rounds after doing everything apart from putting a first tick in the win column. They let a 31-7 lead slip against Leicester Tigers and were then held to a draw by 14-man Worcester Warriors in last week’s absorbing Friday Night Lights derby clash.
Northampton Saints are the next team to attempt to topple reigning champions Saracens, and they head to Allianz Park with their tails up thanks to a bonus-point win over Bristol Rugby.
Live TV coverage begins at 2.30pm on Saturday – on BT Sport 2, BT Sport Red Button and BT Sport 4K UHD – Saints will be aiming for a third away Aviva Premiership Rugby victory in a row for the first time since December 2014.
But Saracens will have a lot to say about that, as they aim to become just the third defending champions in Premiership Rugby history to start their campaign with three bonus-point wins.
However, Saints will take much heart from the fact that the last three encounters between the two sides have been won by the away side on the day.
Then on Sunday, the spotlight is on the north east with Newcastle Falcons in front of a home crowd live at 2.30pm on BT Sport 3, BT Sport Red Button and BT Sport 4K UHD.
Their task is to take on a Leicester Tigers’ team licking their wounds following their loss to Wasps, though Newcastle themselves will be looking to rebound following a tough defeat to Bath Rugby.
The last encounter at Kingston Park between the two teams ended in Newcastle’s favour 26-14, a result that ended their 11-game losing streak against Leicester.
All of these games as well as Wasps v Bristol Rugby, Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins and Bath Rugby v Worcester Warriors will be dissected in extensive highlights coverage across the weekend.
Catch up with the first two days of action at 9pm on Saturday on BT Sport 1, while Mark Durden-Smith and David Flatman will break down the entire weekend on Sunday at 8pm on ITV4 and on ITV at 11.20pm. And don’t fear if you’ve been completely out of the loop over the weekend – the final chance to absorb all of Round 3’s highlights will be at 12.05am on Tuesday on ITV4.
Rugby Tonight will provide a midweek fix of Aviva Premiership Rugby chat at 8pm on Wednesday on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD
Sale Sharks v Gloucester Rugby, programme starts at 7pm, kick-off 7.45pm BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD
Saracens v Northampton Saints, programme starts at 2.30pm, kick-off 3pm BT Sport 2, BT Sport Red Button and BT Sport 4K UHD
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers, programme starts at 2.30pm, kick-off 3pm BT Sport 3, BT Sport Red Button, BT Sport 4K UHD
9pm BT Sport 1 (Friday and Saturday’s matches)
Wednesday, 8pm BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD