Top-two clash bookends BT Sport bonanza
BT Sport did a fine job of choosing where to send their cameras last week as they took in Gloucester Rugby’s comeback victory over Saracens and Exeter Chiefs’ ascent to the summit on Sunday.
And this weekend sees another couple of mouth-watering picks as the top two come together at Allianz Park and Newcastle Falcons welcome the in-form Cherry & Whites to the North East.
The Chiefs triumphed in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final against Wasps in May, but both Rob Baxter’s side and Saracens occupied the top two spots frequently throughout last season, and do so again as we head into Round 9.
The West Country outfit currently have their noses in front, sitting two points above Mark McCall’s men, but Saracens will fancy their chances at Allianz Park as they seek revenge following last season’s semi-final defeat at Sandy Park.
Exeter also achieved a brilliant result on the double European Champions’ turf last season, drawing 13-13 in January thanks to Jack Nowell’s early try, and won’t be intimidated on Sunday – coverage starts at 2.30pm on BT Sport 2.
But the weekend’s televised action begins on Friday night at Kingston Park, with Dean Richards’ Falcons aiming to get back to winning ways against Johan Ackermann’s troops.
The match is live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD from 7.00pm and could see ninth-placed Newcastle overtake fifth-placed Gloucester if they can get a victory.
The Falcons may have fallen to a 40-10 defeat to a strong Wasps side on Saturday, but they have the always-deadly Sinoti Sinoti back in their ranks.
Gloucester, meanwhile, fly into this one off the back of three straight Aviva Premiership Rugby wins and are spearheaded by No.8 Ruan Ackermann, in fantastic form, and have been bolstered by excellent performances from youngsters Tom Hudson and scrum-half Ben Vellacott.
And don’t worry, if you miss any of the action live catch the highlights on Channel 5 at 8pm on Sunday.
Friday 24 November
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester Rugby. Programme starts at 7.00pm, kick-off at 7.45 (BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD)
Sunday 26 November
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs. Programme starts at 2.30pm, kick-off at 3.00pm (BT Sport 2)
Aviva Premiership Rugby Highlights – 8.00pm (Channel 5)