Premiership teams in desperate dash for final Euro spots
ROUND 24 PREVIEW: The race for the final few places in next year’s European Cup reaches its climax on the final day of the Premiership’s regular season.
With the top four already decided, all eyes are on who will join Europe’s elite next season.
Bath and Gloucester are hoping to sneak into the top eight on the home straight.
Bristol Bears are currently in pole position to qualify and know that a bonus-point win over West Country rivals Gloucester will likely be enough to see them home.
Bath are certainly not out of the picture either, while Harlequins need a point to guarantee their place at Europe’s top table.
Elsewhere, there are a host of mouth-watering fixtures, with all five matches on the final day kicking off at 16.00 (15.00 GMT), including the battle of the north as Sale Sharks host Newcastle Falcons.
In Bears’ battle with Gloucester the visitors to Ashton Gate also with designs of a top eight finish.
A Saracens win at Bath and a rare away scalp for George Skivington’s side would see them beat the Bears to a top-eight finish.
The Cherry & Whites have edged both previous meetings between the sides this season, leaving Pat Lam’s side with revenge on their minds ahead of their Ashton Gate clash.
Saracens’ final rehearsal for their semifinal clash sees them travel to the Rec to play a Bath side who have won each of their previous three fixtures.
Mark McCall’s men will be looking to extend a fine winning run against Saturday’s opponents which stretches back to March 2019.
Leicester Tigers will also want to maintain momentum ahead of their post-season charge, and they host Harlequins at Welford Road in their final home game of the season.
Quins will be determined to upset the Midlands party, having had their own jamboree spoiled by Bath last time out.
The final top-four side in action this weekend is Sale Sharks, who host rivals Newcastle Falcons.
Falcons pulled off a shock win over Sharks in December, running in 20 unanswered second-half points to secure victory and that result is sure to loom large in the minds of Alex Sanderson’s squad.
The final match on a thrilling weekend is a repeat of the Premiership Cup Final as Exeter Chiefs travel to the capital to take on London Irish.
Chiefs, who missed out on a second final of the season after losing to La Rochelle in the Champions Cup semifinal, won the Cup in spectacular fashion in March and know a similar result could see them leapfrog their opponents into fifth.
Round 24 fixtures
SATURDAY, MAY 6 (all games kick off at 16.00; 15.00 GMT)
Bristol Bears v Gloucester (Ashton Gate)
Bath v Saracens (The Recreation Ground)
Leicester Tigers v Harlequins (Welford Road)
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons (AJ Bell Stadium)
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs (Brentford Community Stadium)