The Aviva Premiership fixtures for the 2013/2014 season have been announced.
The season kicks-off with newly promoted Newcastle Falcons entertaining Bath at Kingston Park, while there is the customary London double header at Twickenham when London Irish take on Saracens and London Wasps face Harlequins. Reigning champions Leicester Tigers start their title defence at home to Dean Ryan’s Worcester Warriors, a baptism of fire for the new boss.
The second round sees a traditional derby in the form of Bath against Leicester taking place at the Rec, while round four tees up a mouth-watering London derby between Harlequins and Saracens at the Stoop.
The first of the East Midlands derbies, and the first time last season’s finalists will face each other since that fateful day at Twickenham in May, comes in round five when the Saints visit Welford Road. The following weekend features the first West Country derby of the season, as Gloucester travel across to Bath. That same weekend sees a repeat of last season’s momentous semi-final, as the Saints take on Saracens.
If it is tight towards the end of the season, much could be decided in the last few rounds. Round 20 sees the Tigers travel to the Stoop to take on Harlequins, with both teams likely to be near the top of the table once again. Then on the final weekend Saracens travel to Welford Road to play the Tigers, a ground where they have had considerable success in recent seasons.
“Every year the anticipation over the new fixtures grows and looking at the 2013-14 season it is clear we have huge matches every weekend,” said Phil Winstanley the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.
“Matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby get more compelling and competitive every year and last season we once again had a smaller average winning margin (a slim 11 points) in our games than in any other League in the world.
“We’ve had three different Aviva Premiership champions in the last three years and last May we had a new club (Northampton Saints) in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.”
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images