TOP BAR - Fixtures

Three rounds to go… Aviva Premiership Rugby Live on BT Sport

With only three Aviva Premiership Rugby rounds to go the four live games on BT Sport 1 this weekend are crucial at both ends of the table.

The weekend kicks off with Friday Night Lights and a south west derby at Kingsholm as Exeter Chiefs make a trip up the M5 to play Gloucester Rugby with coverage on BT Sport 1 from 7pm (kick off 7.45pm).

Although Gloucester Rugby are on a run of five straight defeats in all competitions, their worst since 2012, they have only lost two Aviva Premiership Rugby games at Kingsholm this season, against Leicester Tigers on 30 January and Bath Rugby on 26 March. Exeter beat Gloucester 19-10 at Sandy Park on 9 January.

Saturday’s live BT Sport double header sees Saracens’ Wembley game against Harlequins live on BT Sport 1. Coverage starts at 3pm with kick-off at 3.15pm and with 77,000 tickets already sold the record attendance for a club match of 84,068 is under threat. The game can also be viewed free on BT Sport's Showcase channel which is available on Freeview on channel 59. UK viewers can also watch the game online at www.btsport.com, Sky and Virgin Media.

Saracens have visited Wembley on 12 previous occasions suffering only three defeats – to Leinster in 2010 and Toulouse in 2013 in Europe and to Harlequins in Aviva Premiership Rugby in March 2012.

Harlequins have won three times in the last 10 rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby, all at the Twickenham Stoop, against Leicester Tigers, Bath Rugby and Newcastle Falcons. Their last away win was against Worcester Warriors at Sixways on 3 January.

The second game of the day showcases one of the biggest club rivalries in world rugby – Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers, the East Midlands derby.  The game kicks off on BT Sport 1 at 5.30pm, a match that could have a big say in the make-up of the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals, with Tigers currently fifth, four points above the Saints.

Northampton Saints have registered one victory in their last four matches in all competitions, when they beat Harlequins 29-23 at Franklin’s Gardens in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 27 March. Saints only home defeat since November came when Wasps were the visitors on 29 January.  Tigers have won once on the road in any tournament since mid-December: 19-18 at Gloucester Rugby on 30 January.

Leicester beat Northampton 30-27 at Welford Road on 9 January but have not achieved an Aviva Premiership Rugby season double over their East Midlands rivals since the 2012-13 season.

Sunday’s game is a must-win match; Newcastle Falcons v London Irish. Coverage starts on BT Sport 1 at 2pm with kick-off at 3pm. The Falcons are 11th in Aviva Premiership Rugby four points above London Irish.

Newcastle Falcons have lost their last six Aviva Premiership Rugby matches since beating Northampton Saints on 21 February. Falcons have lost their last two home matches but have not lost three in succession at Kingston Park since 2014.

London Irish have won once in the last eight rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby: 23-18 at home to Gloucester Rugby on 20 March. The Exiles have won once on the road in any tournament since February 2015, 31-17 at Agen in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on 23 January. But their record against the Falcons is good – London Irish have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters against Falcons since Newcastle’s 30-11 victory at Kingston Park in October 2013.

Live

Friday
Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs, programme starts at 7pm, kick-off 7.45pm, BT Sport 1

Saturday
Programme starts at 3pm on BT Sport 1:
Saracens v Harlequins, kick-off 3.15pm. This game will also be free to view on BT Sport Showcase
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish, programme starts at 2pm, kick-off 3pm, BT Sport 1

Highlights

Sunday
ITV4 8pm
ITV 11.25pm

Tuesday
ITV4 12.05am

Rugby Tonight Extra – BT Sport 1 tonight 9pm
Rugby Tonight – BT Sport 1 Monday 8pm

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