Saturday 1st September 2018

Event of the Day: Premiership Rugby Opening Weekend

Our event of the day is the opening weekend of the Rugby Union Premiership season across England. Last year’s runners up Exeter Chiefs begin their quest to reclaim the title they won in 2017 at home to Leicester Tigers. Despite finishing eight points clear of Saracens in the table, Exeter were comprehensively beaten by the London side in May’s final. Today’s opponents Leicester finished fifth last season, the first time they had missed out on the top four in twelve years. Exeter and Saracens have been a cut above the rest in recent years. It will be interesting to see if the chasing pack can bridge the gap this season. Wasps were top of this chasing pack last season, finishing third. However, they will potentially suffer from the loss of Danny Cipriani whose form last season saw him rewarded with an England call up. They play Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium today. Opponents Worcester will be hoping for an improvement on last year, having finished second from bottom.

In today’s earlier fixture, Gloucester take on Northampton Saints at Kingsholm Stadium. Many changes have taken place in both camps during the summer. Northampton have a fresh face in the dugout in the form of Chris Boyd. Meanwhile Gloucester made headlines with the capture of England fly-half Danny Cipriani from Wasps. Fellow England international Matt Banahan was also recruited, the versatile winger joining from rivals Bath. Two sides who were down at the wrong end of the table last season kick off their campaigns at the Stoop. Harlequins, now under the guidance of Paul Gustard, play Sale Sharks. With four thrilling fixtures, today should be a terrific day of rugby. 

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the fourteenth day of action at the Asian Games in Indonesia. The Republic of Korea face Japan in the gold medal match of the men’s football, China play Iran in the men’s basketball final, and China are also in action in the women’s basketball final, as they take on a combined Korea team. A multitude of football fixtures kick off world-wide. The pick of the Premier League matches comes from the King Power Stadium, where Leicester will aim to end Liverpool’s 100% start to the season. Two sides hoping for a swift return to the Premier League meet at the Hawthorns, as West Brom face Stoke in the Championship. In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich travel to Stuttgart whilst in La Liga, Real Madrid host Leganes. Paris Saint-Germain travel to Nimes in Ligue 1, whilst Hearts host St Mirren in the SPL. Serie A action comes from Parma, where Palma play Italian giants Juventus. In the Eredivisie, PSV Eindhoven welcome Willem II, and in the MLS, table topping New York Red Bulls travel to Montreal to take on the Montreal Impact. The MLB series between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners resumes in Oakland. Elsewhere in the States, tennis of the highest calibre continues at Flushing Meadows with the US Open. In Norton, the quest for FedEX Cup glory continues with the second day of the Dell Technologies Championship. On the LPGA Tour, day 3 of the Cambia Portland Classic gets underway. The European Tour is in Silkeborg, where Made in Denmark continues. Elsewhere in Europe, there’s qualifying for the Formula One Italian grand prix, and stage 8 of the Vuelta a España. Cricket comes from the Rose Bowl, with day 3 of the 4th Test between England and India. Yorkshire need to bat all day in their County Championship fixture with Somerset to draw the game. The Roosters will look to close the gap at the top of the NRL ladder, as they play the Eels. In the Czech Republic, the Karlovy Vary Triathlon World Cup begins. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy! 


Photos by Premiership Rugby

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