/ Aviva Premiership 2014-15

/ News

Aviva Premiership
Northampton open title defence against Gloucester
ESPN Staff
July 4, 2014
Wasps' Andy Goode and Tom Varndell pose with the Premiership trophy. Wasps kick off the new season against Saracens © Getty Images

Premiership champions Northampton Saints will kick off the defence of their title at home against Gloucester on Friday, September 5.

Saints, who defeated Saracens in extra time in a thrilling final last May, will play the league opener at Franklin's Gardens, before the London clubs take centre stage with a Saturday double-header at Twickenham. Runners-up Saracens will take on Wasps, followed by London Irish against Harlequins on September 6.

The first Saturday will also see Sale welcome Bath to the AJ Bell Stadium and Leicester take on Newcastle at Welford Road. Newly-promoted London Welsh will then kick off their campaign at home to Exeter Chiefs in the final match of the opening weekend, on Sunday, September 7.

The enthusiasm of Premiership clubs for staging showpiece matches at bigger stadiums appears to be growing, with Northampton confirming they will play their 'home' clash with Saracens at the 30,500-capacity stadiummk in Milton Keynes on April 25, 2015.

Saracens will also expect another bumper crowd when they return to Wembley on Saturday, March 28. Mark McCall's men will once again take on Harlequins at the home of English football, aiming to better the world-record 83,889 crowd that watched their 39-17 victory over their London rivals last season. Quins meanwhile, will celebrate Christmas with a showpiece match against Northampton at Twickenham on December 27.

"It will be exciting to start the 2014/15 season under the lights on a Friday night and at home at Franklin's Gardens," Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said. "The last time we played at home was the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final, and if we can start next season in the same type of atmosphere as we finished 2013/14 then it will be tremendous. Gloucester have made a lot of changes behind the scenes this summer, and it will be an exciting test."

Wasps will host another 'Stinger' showpiece at Twickenham when they take on Exeter on April 25. The home of English rugby will then host the Premiership final on Saturday, May 30.

Northampton will meet Leicester for the first East Midlands derby on December 20, while Gloucester will also take on Bath that same day on what promises to be a spicy weekend of rugby.

The derbies will be repeated on the final day of the season, as Leicester host Northampton and Bath welcome Gloucester to the Rec. Exeter will take on Sale, London Irish will meet Wasps, London Welsh will host Saracens and Newcastle will take on Harlequins on May 16.

All fixtures after round six are subject to change due to television scheduling.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    England held to draw by USA as Portugal stun All Blacks

    England reached the quarter finals of the Cathay Pacific-HSBC Hong Kong Sevens after qualifying second from Pool D following an entertaining 21-21 draw with USA

  • Formula 1

    Massa frustrated by Williams' wet weather pace

    Felipe Massa says Williams is still "too slow" in the wet after he could only qualify seventh in Malaysia

  • Formula 1

    Honda halfway up a 'high mountain'

    Honda admits it is only half way up a "high mountain" with its new power unit after McLaren qualified on the second to last row at the Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Who said what after qualifying in Malaysia

    ESPN rounds up all the reaction from up and down the paddock after qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Verstappen: Brakes cost me better than sixth

    Seventeen-year-old Max Verstappen will start his second Formula One race from sixth on the grid but admitted it could have been even better without a brake issue in Malaysia

  • Football

    A Klose call

    Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?

  • Formula 1

    F1 cost cutting: Not putting money where the mouth is

    Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...

  • Formula One

    Tough at the top

    Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?

  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 7

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income