Aviva Premiership: Where things stand

Playoff Contenders:

Harlequins have remained strong throughout the early part of the season but since the return of international players to clubs like Leicester and Saracens, they lost their winning streak and started to look shaky. But clubs like London Irish, Northampton, Exeter and more, all remain in the fray.


Conor O’Shea’s top-of-the-table Harlequins have played a blinder so far but their lead has been significantly decreased in recent times by the ever increasing pressure of current Aviva Premiership Champions Saracens. They had a ten game Aviva Premiership winning streak until they took on Saracens in the LV Big Game 4 at Twickenham but lost 19-11.

International call-ups: 9


Saracens have had a fairly decent start to their title defence and have won ten games so far but opened their campaign with a loss to London Wasps back in September. Despite this early hiccup, Sarries are the only English side to make it into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

International call-ups: 10

Northampton Saints:

After beating Gloucester in their first match of the season, Northampton failed to win any of their four matches in September with losses to Harlequins, Sale and Worcester. But Jim Mallinder’s men soon got back to winning ways and now sit in third place in the Aviva Premiership table, eyeing a play-off spot.

International call-ups: 10

Leicester Tigers:

Leicester couldn’t win at home in their first four matches at Welford Road after losing to Harlequins, Exeter, Saracens and drawing 24-24 with London Irish. But they soon improved their form and beat Northampton at Welford Road back in December.

International call-ups: 13

London Irish:

Irish have won just six Aviva Premiership matches so far in this campaign but those wins did include Northampton, Exeter and London Wasps. After beating Gloucester in the final pool stage of the Anglo-Welsh cup this weekend, they are contenders for the LV Cup trophy and will also be targeting an Aviva Premiership play-off.

International call-ups: 9

Exeter Chiefs:

Exeter Chiefs stunned the English rugby community when they were promoted from the Championship two seasons ago. They currently sit in sixth place and are real contenders for a play-off spot. The Chiefs are lucky to have just two players away on international duty and are just five points away from Leicester in fourth place, so things are looking good at Sandy Park!

International call-ups: 2

Sale Sharks:

Nobody expected Sale to make the start they have done. Sale weren’t expected to very well this season but have won five matches so far in the Aviva Premiership and sit comfortably in seventh place. But they face some tough tests in the next few weeks as Harlequins and Saracens both travel to Edgeley Park.

International call-ups: 6


Gloucester got off to a fantastic start to the season and looked to defend their winning streak that had remained intact for over 20 matches. However, when Saracens travelled to Kingsholm towards the end of last year it all went wrong for Bryan Redpath’s men as they failed to win a further three Premiership matches after that loss to Saracens.

International call-ups: 4

At the Bottom

Newcastle look to be the likely candidates for relegation but London Wasps should be careful to avoid the drop.


Worcester were promoted from the Championship last season and have remained steady in the early parts of the season. Worcester are 12 points off the bottom spot so relegation is unlikely and have six Premiership victories under their belt.

International call-ups: 1


Sir Ian McGeechan and his side won’t be happy with their season so far. After the signing of former England captain Lewis Moody last season, things looked bright for Bath with their new owner and training ground but they have failed to challenge the top clubs this season and have only had one convincing victory, against London Irish when they won 30-3.

International call-ups: 6

London Wasps:

Wasps will be feeling the same as Bath, if not worse. Despite boasting a selection of talented players including Nicky Robinson, Tom Varndell and Elliot Daly, Wasps are second bottom of the table and struggling to get back to winning ways. With just four wins under their belt, relegation is a real concern.

International call-ups: 3

Newcastle Falcons:

With just two wins in the Aviva Premiership so far, Newcastle are the most likely candidates for relegation. They gave Leicester a run for their money back in November, in the end losing 27-26 but beat Gloucester 26-25 in an equally close encounter in December. Critics do forget that Newcastle reached the LV Cup Final eventually losing out to Gloucester but it looks as though Newcastle should be preparing for Championship rugby next season.

International call-ups: 1

by Sam Durham