Rugby Union: New Year Weekend Preview

The Gallagher Premiership clubs now begin preparing for their first matches in the New Year with two matches this Saturday. Sale Sharks against Wasps and Exeter Chiefs versus Bristol in another West Country derby, this time at Sandy Park.

Then on Sunday, league leaders Leicester Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons, current champions Harlequins are away at Gloucester and Northampton Saints are at home to Saracens.

On Monday, London Irish are back in Brentford playing bottom of the table Bath who’ve lost all their 10 league games.

Quins finished 2021 on a high note with an excellent performance in front of 70,000 at Twickenham where Northampton Saints were overcome by 41-27.

One thing’s for sure and that’s Harlequins won’t give up their Premiership title without a fight as England number eight, Alex Dombrandt, showed by scoring a hat-trick of tries against the Saints.

At this stage of the season, sensible money would surely be put on Leicester Tigers becoming the eventual winners of the Premiership, decided by a play-off final in June.

With 10 wins from 10 contests taking them to 45 points at the top of the league, Tigers are now eight points clear of Saracens in second place on 37, and Leicester can approach the New Year full of confidence under boss Steve Borthwick.

Their opening game in 2022 against Newcastle Falcons, coached by former Tigers’ hero Dean Richards who returns to Welford Road, the scene of so many of his triumphs, will surely see Leicester continuing their outstanding form as they aim to make it 11 Premiership wins on the trot.

Craig Jones

Craig Jones

US Sports lover and watcher of the EFL, Craig will guide you through the NFL, NHL and English football