TOP BAR - Fixtures

Aviva Premiership Rugby round up: Semi-Finals

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall believes his side have work to do if they’re to secure a historic double against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham on Saturday.

McCall’s troops cruised past Leicester Tigers 44-17 at Allianz Park on Saturday to book their place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby final having won the European Champions Cup last week.

And McCall admitted he was relieved not to suffer any European hangover against the Tigers, as they look to retain the title they beat Bath Rugby to in last year’s showpiece.

“It's great to have won the match and great to have won the [European] final, but I think there is going to be some lessons for us and some areas for us to improve,” he said.

“This is the week I was worried about because the players celebrated, as they should have done, after the final for a couple of days. 

“Leicester had had some time to prepare for this game, we had a shorter preparation time, so I was worried.”

There was also delight for Exeter Chiefs who reached their first Aviva Premiership Final with a hard-fought 34-23 victory over Wasps at Sandy Park.

And Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes the achievement of reaching a Twickenham final is just another step on a long journey for the players.

“The lads who played have made a name for themselves,” he said.

“They are a little bit further up the ladder than they were before, and the club is a little bit further up the ladder.

“What we need to remember about this club is what gives us the backbone and the foundations we've got is that we had to spend a lot of time being tough and dealing with being second and not winning everything, and saying that one day we wanted to be a very successful rugby club.

“This won't feel like a shock to the players. It will feel like the next step they wanted to take.”

It was the second semi-final defeat of the season for Wasps and Leicester Tigers, who were both beaten, by Saracens and Racing 92 respectively, at the same stage of the European Champions Cup.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young had no complaints over the Exeter result and backed his team to bounce back next season.

“We knew they (Exeter) are a good team, and they proved that," Young said. 

“You have only got to look at Saracens in Europe. Sometimes, you have got to keep knocking that door, and it might be a year or two before it opens, but in the end it will open.

“We have got to make sure we stick in there.”

Leicester Tigers director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was also confident his team were progressing in the right direction to be challenging for silverware in the coming seasons.

“We have got to learn from the two semi-final defeats this year and come back stronger next year having grown our game,” he said.

“You've got to take these painful parts, because at some point over the next couple of years we'll get it right and win something and these are the experiences you have to learn from."

Saracens
Tries: Fraser, Wyles 2, Ashton 2
Conversions: Farrell 4, Hodgson
Penalties: Farrell, Hodgson 2

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Veainu, Barrow
Conversions: Williams 2
Penalties: Williams

Referee: John Paul Doyle
Attendance: 9,932

Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Whitten, Penalty 2, Ewers
Conversions: Steenson 4
Penalties: Steenson 2

Wasps
Tries: Festuccia, Robson
Conversions: Gopperth 2
Penalties: Gopperth 3

Attendance: 12,604
Referee: Greg Garner

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 28 May at Twickenham, tickets are available from premiershiprugby.com/final

Latest News

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Exeter Chiefs will be looking to use the buzz of last season’s success as inspiration in their bid win the…

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Ben Vellacott gunning for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s glory with Gloucester Rugby

Ben Vellacott is certain Gloucester Rugby’s exciting line-up for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s can go all the way…

Ben Vellacott

Ones to watch: Singha Premiership Rugby 7s 2017

England internationals, Premiership Rugby record holders, Olympic medallists and the hottest rugby talent in the country – put all that…

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Harlequins is proud to confirm today (Wednesday 27th July) that Harlequins Academy member James Lang has extended his time with…

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling

Exeter Chiefs name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Ricky Pellow says Exeter Chiefs are relishing the chance to kick-off the new 2017/18 season with a big showing at…

Max Bodilly