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Category: Premiership

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Chris Boyd eyes chance to break the Saracens-Exeter stranglehold

Premiership’s heavyweight pair seem destined for a Twickenham showdown unless Gloucester or Northampton can spring an upsetThe list of familiar club names absent from the 2018-19 Premiership semi-finals is a clear sign of the times in English rugby. Wa…

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Premiership rugby 2018-19: club-by-club season verdict | Michael Aylwin

Fall of Newcastle reflects brutality of top flight while excellence of Saracens and Exeter continues to set the gold standardThey made Europe with the last kick of what has been an otherwise curious season, but they are used to those at the Rec. Rumour…

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Saracens set the template for what a top-notch rugby club should be | Paul Rees

With community a core value, it is about more than rugby for the kings of Europe and now Premiership play-off contendersWhen Saracens played their first European Cup final, against Toulon in 2014, it was a meeting of two clubs who had approached the ve…

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Rugby roundup: Bath have last word at Leicester on day of thrillers

• Bath clinch sixth with 32-31 comeback win at Welford Road• Sale edge past Gloucester 46-41 in 13-try feastRhys Priestland’s dramatic late conversion completed a stirring comeback for Bath, who clinched sixth place in the Premiership with a thrilling …

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Harlequins miss play-off spot as Lang’s late penalty falls agonisingly short

• Wasps 27-25 Harlequins• Late drama as James Lang has chance to give Quins winHome is where the heartache has been for Wasps this season, but it was Harlequins who felt the agony when James Lang’s 50-metre penalty in the last minute, that would have t…

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Northampton hang on to play-off spot despite collapse at dominant Exeter

• Exeter 40-21 Northampton• Northampton finish in top four thanks to Harlequins lossNext week’s Premiership semi-final will involve these same two teams on the exact same stretch of Devon grass and Exeter will surely fancy a similar outcome. The Chiefs…

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Premiership team of the season: Danny Cipriani shows his class | Robert Kitson

South African and Australian talent is to the fore alongside the best of British in Tom Curry, Joe Marler and Henry SladeThe fast-footed Argentinian will be missed when he swaps Devon for Bordeaux this summer: no other player in the league has beaten m…

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Rory Hutchinson justifies Chris Boyd’s faith as he eyes World Cup

Northampton Saints’ director of rugby saw talent in abundance as well as someone error prone but he has patiently guided him to the verge of the game’s biggest stageThe Northampton director of rugby, Chris Boyd, is full of those Kiwi metaphors that can…

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The Breakdown | Pat Lam: ‘Being a Bristol Bear is about more than rugby – it’s a vision’

The former Samoa, Newcastle and Northampton No 8 has worked wonders with the Premiership newcomers who have aimed far higher than mere survival this seasonPat Lam is on the shortlist for the Premiership season’s director of rugby award after steering B…

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The Breakdown | Pat Lam: ‘Being a Bristol Bear is about more than rugby – it’s a vision’

The former Samoa, Newcastle and Northampton No 8 has worked wonders with the Premiership newcomers who have aimed far higher than mere survival this seasonPat Lam is on the shortlist for the Premiership season’s director of rugby award after steering B…

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Dylan Hartley will not be rushed back, Northampton tell England

• Hartley hoping to play against Exeter after five months out• Hooker may go to World Cup without competitive game in 2019Dylan Hartley may miss out on the chance to press his World Cup claims before the end of the season with the Northampton director …

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Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership’s weekend action

Piers O’Conor and Mat Protheroe step up for Bristol, Newcastle left down and out while leaky Leicester require urgent repairsA third Premiership try of the season for Charles Piutau against Sale on Friday night, in what was his ninth league start of th…

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Saracens’ Mako Vunipola will be fit for Champions Cup final, says McCall

• Club’s director of rugby says prop should be fine after ankle injury• First XV rested for victory against Exeter with Leinster in mindSaracens are confident Mako Vunipola will be fit for Saturday’s Champions Cup final against Leinster despite an ankl…

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Late tries from Zach Mercer and Joe Cokanasiga edge Bath past Wasps

• Bath 29-17 Wasps• Hosts boost hopes of top-six finishThree tries in the final six minutes gave Bath a bonus point victory that took them to sixth in the table and on course for a place in the European Champions Cup, but this was a muddle of a match t…

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Alex Lewington and Dom Morris lead Saracens to dominant win over Exeter

• Saracens 38-7 Exeter• Hosts close gap on leaders to four pointsA comfortable bonus point victory for Saracens and the perfect way to prepare for next Saturday’s Champions Cup showdown with Leinster but what could have been a dress rehearsal for the P…

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Newcastle Falcons relegated as Gloucester book a play-off place

• Gloucester 28-19 Newcastle• Danny Cipriani scores to help condemn Newcastle to dropFrom the top four to the trap door. One year after making the play-offs for the first time, Newcastle were relegated to the Championship. They overcame their customary…

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Geordan Murphy can take a lead from Harlequins and Northampton new men | Ugo Monye

Paul Gustard and Chris Boyd have managed to turn two ailing Premiership clubs around this season – Leicester, take noteWhen I look at Northampton and Harlequins I see two teams at the same stage of their journey. Both were coming to the end of dreadful…

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Semi Kunatani helps boost Harlequins’ play-off hopes in scrap with Leicester

• Harlequins 23-19 Leicester• Danny Care and Kunitani score tries in narrow victorySo Newcastle live to fight another day, or conceivably another fortnight if they can somehow beat Gloucester with a bonus point at Kingsholm on Saturday. There were mome…

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Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie: ‘We play our best in the biggest games’ | Robert Kitson

The Chiefs forward knows Saturday’s meeting with Saracens is something of a phoney war but says the Premiership leaders will not be found wanting when the real thing occurs later this monthA healthy league position is not the only indicator of a happy …

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Saracens and Exeter expected to field weakened teams for top-two fixture

• Exeter’s Rob Baxter unwilling to take unnecessary risks• Jack Nowell and Sam Simmonds not fit for artificial pitchFans hoping to see a potential dress rehearsal of this season’s Premiership final are set to be disappointed with Saracens and Exeter op…