Premiership: Ten facts you need to now
RESTART SPOTLIGHT: The Premiership is back on Friday, after the COVID-19-enforced lockdown.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the competition!
1. It has been 159 days since the last Premiership game, the longest hiatus ever between Premiership Rugby matches. The previous record was 139 days between the 2015 final and the start of the 2015/16 season, and exactly the same four years later!
2. All to play for: Exeter obtained 43 of a possible 45 league points on offer from the last nine rounds in the 2016/17 season, whilst in 2008/09 Leicester climbed from sixth spot in the league table after round 13 to top place by round 22.
3. There is a five-way tie for the most Premiership tries this season with seven tries each being run in by Ben Earl, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Zach Kibirige, Luke Morahan and Louis Rees-Zammit.
4. Worcester’s Perry Humphreys has scored five tries, whilst his teammates have scored just 13 more between them, the highest individual contribution of any one player in Premiership Rugby this season.
5. Four players have amassed over a century of points this campaign: Marcus Smith leads the way with 126, followed by Callum Sheedy (122), Robert du Preez (116) and Rhys Priestland (111). The latter has scored almost half of Bath’s total points tally this season.
(Continue below … )
6. Exeter’s Gareth Steenson has missed just one kick at goal in 30 attempts this season; a 31st-minute conversion against Sale on 25 January. It’s his only miss in Premiership in his last 35 shots since March 2019!
7. Things could have been so different for Bristol and Worcester. The two clubs have each been involved in eight close encounters where the result was either a draw or the losing side obtained a losing bonus point, however Bristol lost just two such matches whilst Worcester won only two of their eight.
8. Don’t let Saracens get ahead of you! Sarries have not lost any of the eight Premiership Rugby matches that they have been leading at the half-time break.
9. Sixty-nine percent of all Gloucester’s points this season have been scored by the way of tries, by far the best contribution in Premiership.
10. There has been only three dropped goals kicked so far in 2019/20: by Robert du Preez, James Grayson and Dan Robson. Grayson followed his father Paul in becoming the first father and son pair to have both dropped a goal in Premiership history, whilst Robson became only the eighth scrumhalf to drop a goal.