Fixtures - Top Bar

Review of 2014 – Aviva Premiership Rugby

The Year 2014 was one that fans of Aviva Premiership Rugby will never forget. An incredible first few months culminated in the first Final to go into extra time… and it was settled with the final move of the match.

Our writers look back at some of the highlights of 2014 and we’d be delighted if you joined in the debate on Twitter, posting your favourite moments and pictures from the last 12 months!

January
Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints were the first clubs to record Aviva Premiership Rugby victories in 2014, beating Newcastle Falcons and Harlequins respectively under the Friday night lights.

That opening weekend was wrapped up in dramatic circumstances on the Sunday, firstly as Leicester Tigers and Bath Rugby shared the spoils at Welford Road with Owen Williams’ late missed conversion ensuring the spoils were shared.

Andy Goode, however, would not suffer the same fate just an hour later, striking a last-gasp penalty between the posts to earn Wasps a 19-16 victory over Exeter Chiefs.

As the month was winding down, the league’s first major move of 2014 was revealed with the announcement that Marland Yarde would swap London Irish for Harlequins in the summer.

February
February began with Worcester Warriors coming within a whisker of ending their losing run in the league at the expense of Leicester Tigers, only for a Toby Flood penalty to earn the reigning champions a 23-22 triumph at Sixways.

The excitement didn’t stop there as, just one day later, London Irish became the first ever side to beat Saracens at Allianz Park in the Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season with first-half tries from Matt Parr, Alex Lewington and George Skivington.

Not to be outdone by Harlequins, Bath announced a summer arrival of their own – rugby league superstar Sam Burgess – before beating Exeter and Wasps to strengthen their play-off push.

March
March 2014 will forever be a memorable month for Rob Baxter and his Exeter Chiefs, after they ended a 143-year wait for major silverware by lifting the LV= Cup trophy.

The Chiefs became LV= Cup Champions with a 15-8 triumph over Northampton at Sandy Park, with Chris Whitehead and captain Dean Mumm crossing the line.

One week later, a thriller at Kingsholm caught the eye as Newcastle Falcons produced a stirring fightback from 37-7 down after an hour, only to lose 40-33.

The month ended with joy for Worcester Warriors as the league’s bottom club finally picked up their first win of the season, beating Newcastle 17-12 at Kingston Park.

April
A month that belonged to Saracens as, aside from toppling title rivals Northampton Saints at Allianz Park, records tumbled at home and in Europe.

Firstly, that victory over Saints saw veteran lock Steve Borthwick succeed George Chuter as Aviva Premiership Rugby’s record appearance-maker.

Just two weeks later a thrashing of Clermont not only saw them reach the Heineken Cup Final, but also witnessed wing Chris Ashton score twice to break a 17-year record of ten tries in one European campaign.
Meanwhile, back in the league, a late penalty try earned Bath an 18-17 victory over rivals Gloucester and Sale Sharks ran in eight tries for an impressive 55-12 win at Exeter Chiefs.

May
A thrilling month of rugby began with Harlequins clinching back-to-back nail-biting wins to slip into the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals at Bath’s expense.

Northampton closed the regular season in style, running in 11 tries to beat Wasps 74-13, before a last-gasp Tom Wood try saw off Leicester Tigers in their semi-final – Saracens beat Quins 31-17 to join them in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.

Prior to the Twickenham showpiece, Sarries made the trip to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium for the Heineken Cup Final, eventually beaten 23-6 by reigning champions Toulon.

And it would be double the disappointment for Mark McCall’s side as Alex Waller’s last-gasp extra-time try clinched the Aviva Premiership Rugby title for Northampton Saints at rugby HQ in dramatic circumstances.

To buy tickets for this season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final click here

June
With Northampton Saints still celebrating, London Welsh joined the Aviva Premiership Rugby party after securing a 48-28 aggregate win over Bristol in the Championship play-off final with victory at the Memorial Stadium.

Just 40 miles north, Gloucester’s managerial overhaul was now in full swing with director of rugby Nigel Davies – having left the club in May – formally replaced by former Ulster man David Humphreys.
Meanwhile nearly 12,000 miles away, Stuart Lancaster’s England side were in New Zealand, taking on the All Blacks in a three-match series.

Leicester Tigers-bound Freddie Burns kicked four penalties in a narrow first Test defeat, while tries for Quins duo Marland Yarde and Mike Brown were just not enough in the second, New Zealand eventually clinching a 3-0 series win.

July
Australian Laurie Fisher was next to join the Gloucester Rugby revolution, while another import from the southern hemisphere landed at newly-promoted London Welsh: former New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu.
Kingsholm legend Mike Tindall announced his retirement from the game – the final member of England’s 2003 World Cup-winning team to hang up his boots for good.

And spirits were high up in Newcastle, as Falcons announced their plans to install a new artificial pitch at Kingston Park in time for the new season.

August
With the season drawing ever nearer, an older face arrived at Welford Road, as Leicester announced the signing of 39-year-old All Blacks legend Brad Thorn.

The annual Premiership Rugby 7s tournament reached a dramatic finale at the Twickenham Stoop – with the World Club 7s just across the road at HQ the following weekend.

Gloucester Rugby retained the Premiership Rugby 7 title with a 12-5 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons in the Series Final, while Argentine raiders Buenos Aires claimed the crown at Twickenham.

September
Aviva Premiership Rugby returned with a bang and Northampton Saints picked up where they left off, thrashing Gloucester 53-6 to kick off the campaign.

The month was full of surprises with Saracens putting Harlequins to the sword 39-0 in south London and Bath going one better against Tigers, racking up a 45-0 triumph.

October
Newcastle Falcons kicked off the month in impressive fashion, welcoming high-flying Exeter Chiefs to Kingston Park and claiming their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win on the new surface – ending a 20-match losing run in the process.

Charlie Sharples celebrated his 150th Gloucester appearance in style, running in a hat-trick of tries as the Cherry & Whites got a new European era underway with a 55-0 thrashing of Brive.

Later that same weekend Chris Ashton continued to haunt Clermont as he and fellow Saracens winger David Strettle each crossed over twice to sink the French giants.

A flawless kicking display saw Myles Dorrian convert all ten tries as London Irish beat Rovigo 70-7, as well as running in one of them himself.

November
The autumn internationals dominated the month’s rugby landscape, as England slipped to defeats at the hands of New Zealand and South Africa.

But there was still time for the Red Rose to impress and the Cherry & Whites were never far from the action, Jonny May scoring twice in victory over Samoa and clubmate Ben Morgan matched that feat as England downed Australia.

Elsewhere there were hat-tricks for both Christian Wade and Ashley Johnson as Wasps recorded a mammoth 71-7 victory over London Welsh and London Irish’s new, state-of-the-art training facility at Hazelwood was officially opened.

December
The Christmas countdown got underway with this season’s third round of European action and it was a productive one for Aviva Premiership Rugby. Six of England’s seven European Rugby Champions Cup representatives won during Round Four.

Wasps made their long-awaited debut at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – their new home – against London Irish in front of a bumper crowd.

Latest News

Chiefs side to face Newcastle Falcons

Rob Baxter may be wary of the threat Newcastle Falcons pose to his Exeter side, but insists its challenges such…

Waldrom

Wasps team to play Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named the Wasps’ side to take on Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday,…

Le Roux Wasps

Sale Sharks Team News

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2.45pm)  at…

Josh Charnley

Newcastle Falcons team to face Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Exeter Chiefs (kick-off 3pm). Chris Harris replaces…

Evan Olmstead

Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Sunday’s trip to Wasps

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that started against Saracens last weekend, making just two changes…

Lewis Ludlow

Bristol Rugby team to face Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby play host to Bath Rugby in the much-anticipated West Country derby on Sunday (1pm KO). Mark Tainton’s men…

Gavin Henson

Saracens name team for Sale clash

Saracens have named their team to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round 16 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off…

Joel Conlon

Annett and Dowson return for Saints test

Niall Annett and Phil Dowson are among three changes to the Warriors starting line-up for their trip to Franklin’s Gardens…

Phil Dowson

Northampton Saints team news versus Worcester

The Northampton Saints team has been named for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Round 16 home match against Worcester. The Saints head…

Michael Paterson

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw

An appeal against the sanction imposed on Francois Louw of Bath Rugby was heard by an RFU Disciplinary appeal panel…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Six Nations and Aviva Premiership action

It's the third round of matches in the Six Nations Championship this weekend, while action also continues in the Aviva…

Twickenham Stoop

England team to face Italy at Twickenham

Eddie Jones has named his side for England’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday (kick-off…

Saints eleven pen new deals

Northampton Saints has today announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad. Three of the more experienced players,…

Luther Burrell

Symons wants Gloucester Rugby to kick-on against Wasps

Just three points separates Gloucester Rugby and sixth-placed Harlequins and centre Andy Symons is determined to see the Cherry &…

Bath Rugby surpass 40,000 ticket sales for The Clash

Bath Rugby is thrilled to confirm that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for The Clash, when they will take…

Bath Rugby

Evans determined for a Harlequins top-six finish

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is determined to drive Harlequins to a top-six finish as the Aviva Premiership Rugby season reaches…

We’ll expect a physical test against Saints, says Worcester’s Ben Howard

Ben Howard is expecting a big, physical battle when his Worcester Warriors side face Northampton Saints on Saturday. Full-back Howard,…

Evans and Lambert return to the starting line-up for the visit of Leicester Tigers

Harlequins has announced the team to play Leicester Tigers in Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership tomorrow at The Stoop,…

Nick Evans

Leicester Tigers team news ahead of Aviva Premiership trip to The Stoop

Lachlan McCaffrey and Peter Betham return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday's Aviva Premiership Round 16 fixture away to…

Peter Betham