TOP BAR - Fixtures

George North, Carl Kirwan, Harry Mallinder, Jamie Shillcock and Matt Garvey top the Opta Ratings

George North was back to his very best even though his Northampton Saints side succumbed to the undefeated Wasps, the Opta stats indicating he was the undisputed star of the weekend.

The 24-year-old 62-time Wales international scored a blistering try in the opening seconds at Franklin’s Gardens, finishing off a fine team move for his second score of the season.

North also beat eight defenders during the game and made five breaks – the most of anyone this week in Aviva Premiership Rugby in either category.

His 122 metres made from 17 carries was also the third highest in both categories, and director of rugby Jim Mallinder singled out the winger for special praise after the defeat.

“When we play well our back three get hold of the ball a lot and I think George North had one of his best games for Saints,” he said.

“I know he’s had some criticism for some of his performances, but (against Wasps) he was tremendous.”

Wasps have now won the last three meetings between these sides, although their best run against Saints was winning five on the bounce between 2004 and 2005 (including play-offs).

Nathan Hughes was immense for Dai Young’s men with 18 carries for 67 metres, while winger Josh Bassett – whose late score ultimately sealed the win – made the second most breaks in the league with three.

After 16 months and 31 games, Maro Itoje’s incredible winning run finally came to an end against Harlequins, who have now won back-to-back home games against Saracens for the first time since 2004.

The Men in Black were restricted to just 10 points in this game – they’ve not scored fewer since November 2012 when they only managed three against Worcester – although Alex Goode fared well with 136 metres made and three successful offloads.

Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks played out the sixth-highest scoring draw in Aviva Premiership history on Saturday, and while Cooper Vuna impressed for the hosts with seven defenders beaten and three offloads, Carl Kirwan’s defensive effort stole the show for the statisticians.

The back-rower made 19 tackles in this game, the most of any player at the weekend, and he is yet to miss one in his 160 minutes of action this season.

Falcons’ win against Gloucester was their first away victory in 24 months in Aviva Premiership Rugby, and their first away to the Cherry and Whites since 2012.

After coming on as a sub, Greig Laidlaw slotted one penalty and is still yet to miss a kick this season (17/17) – and the Scottish scrum-half has not missed a league conversion in the whole of 2016.

It took a performance Leicester Tigers fans would have been proud of to down Bath Rugby, as Richard Cockerill’s men built around a strong display up front.

Peter Betham beat seven defenders on his way to 72 metres made, although Matt Garvey’s contribution for the visitors was impressive as his ten lineouts claimed and three turnovers won were more than anyone else in Aviva Premiership Rugby this weekend.

And finally Exeter Chiefs’ Thomas Waldrom was back to his rampaging best in their win over Bristol Rugby, with his 17 carries yielding two tries.

Rob Baxter’s men gained 571 metres in this game, their most in a match since a tally of 641 against Worcester in April.



Carl Kirwan (Worcester Warriors) – 19

Jack Lam (Bristol Rugby) – 18

Sam Jones (Wasps) – 17



Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints) – 19

Nathan Hughes (Wasps) – 18

George North (Northampton Saints), Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 17


Metres Made

Jamie Shillcock (Worcester Warriors) – 139

Alex Goode (Saracens) – 136

George North (Northampton Saints) – 122


Defenders beaten

George North (Northampton Saints) – 8

Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors), Alex Goode (Saracens), Peter Betham (Leicester Tigers) – 7



Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 4

Alex Goode (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Lachlan McCaffrey (Leicester Tigers), Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors) – 3


Lineouts won

Matt Garvey (Bath Rugby) – 10

Mariano Galarza (Gloucester Rugby), Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), James Horwill (Harlequins) – 7

Latest News

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal