Fixtures - Top Bar

Jacob Rowan, Billy Vunipola, Christian Wade and Jeremy Thrush star in OPTA Rugby Rankings

Saracens No.8 Billy Vunipola was back to his rampaging best in his club’s crucial Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Bath Rugby at Allianz Park, getting through a mountain of work in a 53-10 win to top this week’s OPTA Rugby Rankings.

Vunipola’s tally of 25 carries was the second best in a single match this season with Thomas Waldrom – who leads the carry count overall – making 28 against Saracens.

Vunipola made six more carries than any other player in Round 18, and also beat five defenders, with Bristol Rugby’s Jack Lam and Harlequins’ Danny Care both making 19 carries apiece.

Christian Wade was the star of the show at the Ricoh Arena as his two tries proved to be the difference between his Wasps side and Worcester Warriors as they played out a pulsating encounter in Coventry.

Wade made 157 metres throughout the 40-33 bonus-point win, which helped his side maintain their position at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

Harlequins also enjoyed a winning bonus-point in their 53-17 victory over Newcastle Falcons at the Twickenham Stoop – the first time they have secured back to back bonus-point wins since December 2015.

Winger Tim Visser and fullback Mike Brown made over 130 metres each to feature in the OPTA top three for metres made in Round 18.

But neither Brown nor Visser could match Wade’s impressive tally of 12 defenders beaten in Round 18, which equalled the Aviva Premiership record since OPTA began recording data in 2008/09.

Chris Ashton, who scored a double in Saracens’ victory, also impressed the crowds by beating seven defenders in a thrilling encounter.

In Round 18’s opening fixture, Gloucester Rugby wrapped up a 32-14 victory over Bristol at Ashton Gate, but were made to do their fair share of defending as is reflected in the statistics.

Back row Jacob Rowan made an incredible 25 tackles – seven more than any other player in Round 18 – in a brave defensive display from the Cherry and Whites.

Rowan’s tally against Bristol takes him up to 200 for the season, which is just two short of leader Mark Wilson of Newcastle Falcons.

Exeter Chiefs extended their unbeaten run to 11 games (including nine wins and two draws) with a 30-25 victory over Sale Sharks at Sandy Park.

Kai Horstmann scored a try for the Chiefs as well as making three crucial turnovers for his side, which put him top of the OPTA Ratings for Round 18.


Jacob Rowan (Gloucester Rugby) – 25

Alex Rieder (Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons), Michael Fitzgerald (Leicester Tigers), Cameron Neild (Sale Sharks) – 18


Billy Vunipola (Saracens) – 25

Jack Lam (Bristol Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins) – 19

Metres made

Christian Wade (Wasps) – 157

Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 134

Mike Brown (Harlequins) – 133

Defenders Beaten

Christian Wade (Wasps) – 12

Mike Brown (Harlequins) – 9

Chris Ashton (Saracens) – 7

Lineouts won

Jeremy Thrush (Gloucester Rugby), Christopher Vui (Worcester Warriors) – 8

James Horwill (Harlequins), Tom Savage (Gloucester Rugby), Jim Hamilton (Saracens) – 7

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

Latest News

George North gets first 2017 tour try in dramatic British & Irish Lions draw

The British & Irish Lions concluded their midweek fixture list in New Zealand with a thrilling 31-31 draw against the…

Newcastle Falcons can’t wait for trip to Philadelphia

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes that the second Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season match in America can…

Dean Richards

Mark Reddish retires from rugby

Harlequins second row Mark Reddish has today (Tuesday 27th June) announced that he will retire from the game due to…

Mark Reddish

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…


Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches