With the Premiership Rugby Fixtures Launch taking place at The BT Tower I was looking forward to the magnificent views as well as getting my eyes on who’s playing who and when. I had an ulterior motive this year as I’ve bought myself a West Ham season ticket and wanted to check out where there might be clashes as well as the views!
Ben Kay was the MC this year, and he did a very good job of it – he certainly brushes up well too. We started with a video going back at some of the highlights of the year. It was another great Premiership Rugby season. I’m going to look back at some stats for the season.
- Overall Attendance 1,802, 998
- Points Scored 5, 699
- Try Bonus Points 62
- Losing Bonus Points 56
Five teams scored over 500 points, including Harlequins who finished in 7th place, it was another year of exciting rugby across the country watched by growing crowds. The Aviva First Timers initiative brought new faces to the game, a friend came along to Saracens with her son and that led to them coming to the Final – Saracens now have a new staunch supporter!
Some player stats to consider for the 2015-16 season
Top Try Scorers
- Thomas Waldrom 13
- Semesa Rokoduguni 12
- Christian Wade 12
- Chris Ashton 11
- Charlie Walker 10
Top Points Scorers
- Gareth Steenson 258
- Jimmy Gopperth 185
- Danny Cipriani 182
- Stephen Myler 173
- Charlie Hodgson 154
Those 154 for Charlie Hodgson saw him cement his place as the Top Points Scorer of all time in the Premiership with 2623 from the 253 appearances he made. As a Saracens fan it was a thrill to have him at Allianz Park, as a player he was pure class,he moves into the back room staff at the club for 2016-17.
There will be some new faces in the Premiership, with some high profile names coming into the league – a quick summary by club of players from clubs outside of the Prem.
- Bath Rugby – Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Harry Davies, Jack Walker
- Bristol – Tusi Pisi, Rhodri Williams, Soane Tonga’uiha, Martin Roberts, Jordan Williams, Will Hurrell, Nick Fenton-Wells
- Exeter Chiefs – Greg Holmes, Lachlan Turner, Dave Dennis, Josh Hohneck
- Gloucester – Matt Scott, Motu Matu’u, Tom Denton
- Harlequins – Mark Reddish
- Leicester Tigers – Matt Toomua, JP Pieterson, Pat Cilliers, Luke Hamilton
- Newcastle Falcons – Joshua Chisanga, Sam Lockwood, Sam Egerton, David Tameilau, Nick Civetta, Andrew Davidson, Kyle Cooper
- Northampton Saints – Louis Picamoles, Campese Ma’afu, Nic Groom, Charlie Clare
- Sale Sharks – Josh Charnley, AJ MacGinty, Mike Phillips, Lou Reed, Dan Mugford
- Saracens – Schalk Burger, Savenaca Rawaca, Vincent Koch, Mark Flanagan
- Wasps – Marty Moore, Marcus Garratt, Kurtley Beale, Nick de Luca
It has to be said that at the time of writing Bath seem to be in a state of disarray with no Head Coach or Captain announced after Mike Ford was sacked and Stuart Hooper forced to retire through injury. A club that provides several first choice England players I’m sure they’ll have a better season than the one not long finished.
Harlequins do have a new Head Coach, well, new to the position in John Kingston and a 150th year to celebrate they’ll also be looking to finish higher than their 7th place in 2015-16.
Saracens double winners in 2015-16 will be the team to beat as others attempt to take the Premiership trophy from them. They start their defence at Twickenham at the Double Header, their opponents will be Worcester Warriors. With the other game involving Harlequins and new boys Bristol – what a way to start life in the top league!
Mark McCall – Saracens Director of Rugby had this to say about the Double Header
We’re very much looking forward to kicking off the 2016-17 campaign back at Twickenham Stadium against Worcester Warriors. The LDH is always a great way to start the season with four clubs battling it out in a showpiece occasion in front of a big crowd.
Looking around Aviva Premiership Rugby all clubs have strengthened going into the new campaign with quality players joining from across the globe – again proving the competition is one of the best in the world.
Andy Robinson had this to say about his side’s first fixture
Seeing the fixtures really gets the juices flowing. We’re pleased to be involved in the LDH on our first game back in the top flight, it’s always a day that provides entertaining, competitive rugby.
The key for us this season is to enjoy our rugby and embrace the challenges that awaits us. We’re looking forward to playing at at fantastic stadium in front of our supporters, who we now will travel in great numbers to Twickenham
The season kicks off the night before as BT Sport televise the first of 69 matches, they’ll be covering Gloucester Rugby v Leicester Tigers at Kingsholm.
The full line up for the opening weekend is as follows
Friday 2 September
- Gloucester Rugby v Leicester Tigers
- Newcastle Falcons v `Sale Sharks
Saturday 3 September
- Harlequins v Bristol Rugby
- Northampton Saints v Bath
- Saracens v Worcester Warriors
Sunday 4 September
- Wasps v Exeter Chiefs
The full list of fixtures can be found Here
The morning was great, Saracens having a ‘home’ fixture on the first weekend means as things stand I only have one clash with West Ham – which is a total result! I will be not only rugby mad in 2016-17 but also a regular football fan!
A quick mention for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7’s Series Fixtures Launch which went hand in hand – The Finals will take place at The Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. The full schedule and links to tickets can be found Here