All eyes back on the Premiership
March 22, 2014
Saracens entertain Harlequins at Wembley for the first time since 2012 © Getty Images
The 2014 Six Nations has been and gone and the focus returns to the Aviva Premiership. Players will have to park any championship-induced fatigue and turn their attention to the season run-in. The top two have pulled away from the rest of the chasing pack but there are still play-off spots up for grabs.
Sale Sharks v Northampton SaintsSaturday, 14.00, AJ Bell Stadium
Form: Sale Sharks (home) LWWWL ; Northampton Saints (away) WWWWW
Sale's last foray in the Premiership saw them secure a valuable away win at Wasps which has given them an eight point buffer from their spot in sixth to Wasps in seventh. They are in the driving seat for a spot in the new-look European tournament next season while Saints are closing in on a home Premiership semi-final as they look to bounce back from their LV= Cup final loss to Exeter last weekend.
Gloucester Rugby v Newcastle FalconsSaturday, 15.00, Kingsholm
Form: Gloucester Rugby (home) LLWLW ; Newcastle Falcons (away) LLLLL
It is fair to say things have not quite gone to plan at Kingsholm this season. They find themselves in ninth; prior to the start of the season they were tipped to be play-off contenders. There is still time for Gloucester to force their way into the top six and will look to get maximum points against a Falcons side who last won in the Premiership back in October.
Saracens v HarlequinsSaturday, 15.15, Wembley Stadium - Live on BT Sport
Form: Saracens (home) WWWLW ; Harlequins (away) WWLLL
Saracens will be chasing a world record attendance at Wembley this weekend but more important than that or the club will be four points against Quins. They are currently two points off the Saints at the top of the tree but will take some heart from their impressive win at Bath in the last round of the Premiership. Harlequins have opted to rest their England players for a further game but will hope to upset the party at the home of football.
Can Exeter build on their LV= Cup success? © Getty Images
London Irish v BathSaturday, 17.30, Madejski Stadium - Live on BT Sport
Form: London Irish (home) LLLWL ; Bath (away) WWLDW
London Irish have started to build ahead of next season with the announcement of James Short's signing this week but they will still want to finish the current campaign on a high. They lie in 10th but are 21 points clear of Worcester. For Bath, they will want to continue their push for a spot in the play-offs after Saracens gave them a lesson in clinical rugby in the last round of the tournament.
Leicester Tigers v Exeter ChiefsSunday, 15.00, Welford Road - Live on BT Sport
Form: Leicester Tigers (home) LWWDW; Exeter Chiefs (away) WLLLL
Leicester have received a timely boost with the return of their England contingent and they will hope to have other sidelined stars back soon to help bolster their end of season charge. Exeter will be riding the crest of the wave after their LV= Cup final win over Northampton and will hope to carry that form into the Premiership.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September