Aviva Premiership – Final round Preview

In a week of reshuffles in the Conservative cabinet, we know there is no uncertainty as we head into the final round of the Aviva Premiership regular season, with the semi-finalists and relegated team already confirmed by the end of Round 21.

Defending champions Exeter Chiefs, Saracens, Wasps and Newcastle Falcons will be the final four this season, with Leicester Tigers missing out for the first time in 14 years, while London Irish have been condemned to relegation to the Championship.

Bath Rugby v London Irish 

Buoyed by a superb 43-20 triumph in the West Country derby over Gloucester Rugby, eighth-placed Bath Rugby will aim to end their season on a high as they welcome relegated London Irish to the Recreation Ground, with all Round 22 games kicking off at 16:00 on Saturday.

Todd Blackadder’s Bath will be desperately disappointed to be finding form too late in the season and will wonder where the performance levels of Round 21 have been all season, but they can prove another point against an already eliminated Exiles side who have just three wins in 21.

PREDICTION: Bath Rugby Win
UNIBET ODDS: Bath 1/40 Irish 15/1
UNIBET Pick: Bath -19.5 @10/11

Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 

Harlequins will bring the curtain down on a dismal season at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday with league leaders and defending champions Exeter Chiefs the guests.

Quins, who have already confirmed the departure of Director of Rugby John Kingston, could finish as low as 11th should Worcester Warriors win, while Exeter Chiefs will be keen to add a seventh straight Premiership win as they race in the semi-finals with momentum.

PREDICTION: Exeter Chiefs Win
UNIBET ODDS: Harlequins 10/3 Exeter 11/50
UNIBET Pick: Harlequins +10.5 @ 4/5

Newcastle Falcons v Wasps 

Newcastle Falcons have already secured their place in the final four, but their opponents will be confirmed on Saturday as fourth host third with Wasps making the trip to Kingston Park.

Whoever finishes third will face Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday 19th May, while a trip to Sandy Park to face reigning kings of England Exeter Chiefs awaits the fourth-placed finisher, with Newcastle Falcons just three points behind Wasps, this is all to play for.

PREDICTION: Newcastle Falcons Win
UNIBET ODDS: Newcastle 10/13 Wasps Evens
UNIBET Pick:Wasps @ Evens

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 

A turbulent season at Franklin’s Gardens has seen Northampton Saints claim just seven wins in the Premiership after 21 rounds, the same amount of successes as 11th-placed Worcester Warriors who travel to face the Saints on Saturday.

Worcester have claimed a number of scalps in an encouraging season and could leapfrog the Saints into ninth place with victory on the final weekend of the regular season.

PREDICTION: Worcester Warriors Win
UNIBET ODDS: Northampton 11/50 Worcester 10/3
UNIBET Pick: Northampton -10.5 @ 10/11

Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 

Defeat to Exeter Chiefs last weekend ended Sale Sharks’ hopes of reaching the Premiership semi-finals, but they could finish as high as fifth with victory over Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

Similarly, defeat to Newcastle Falcons in Round 21 means Leicester will not feature in the final four for the first time since 2004, but the Tigers must be wary of slipping from fifth with the Sharks purring just four points behind.

PREDICTION: Leicester Tigers Win
UNIBET ODDS: Sale 1/2 Leicester 31/20
UNIBET Pick: Leicester @ 31/20

Saracens v Gloucester Rugby 

A thumping of London Irish last weekend means Saracens have secured a home semi-final at Allianz Park, but first they welcome European Rugby Challenge Cup finalists Gloucester Rugby to the Barnet stadium on Saturday for a final regular season outing.

Last season’s European Rugby Champions Cup winners have no continental affairs to contend with this term and will be keen to carry momentum into the knockout stages, while Gloucester – fresh from a West Country derby hammering – could have one eye on next Friday’s trip to Bilbao for the Challenge Cup final, especially now they’re out of contention for the final four in England.

PREDICTION: Saracens Win
UNIBET ODDS: Saracens 1/25 Gloucester 23/2
UNIBET Pick: Saracens -20.5 @ 10/11

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