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Cup enters final round of pool fixtures

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Leicester Tigers go to Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday in the final round of the pool stages of the new Premiership Rugby Cup. Here's how the competition works:

Replacing the Anglo-Welsh format of recent seasons, the Premiership Rugby Cup divides the 12 top-flight clubs into three pools with the three winners joined by the best runner-up in the knockout stages to be played during February and March.

In this competition, the teams play their three pool rivals and then in a ‘Derby Day’ round against local rivals from a different pool to ensure each club has two home games and two away.

The unique ‘Derby Day’ fixtures are spread over two weekends, with Northampton Saints hosting Tigers in a 3.00pm kick-off this Saturday. Both sides then sit it out the following week as the other half of the draw fulfil their fixtures.

Worcester and Saracens are joint-top of the Tigers pool with two wins from three games so far. Sarries travel to London rivals Harlequins this Saturday, and Warriors welcome Wasps to Sixways in their final game on February 3.

Exeter Chiefs and Newcastle Falcons remain unbeaten in Pool 1 while Pool 3 is the closest to call with Saints, Gloucester and Bristol separated by just one point entering the final round.

Ranking is decided by league points and, if teams are equal, it then goes to number of wins, then points difference, points scored, tries scored, red cards, match points from games between the clubs or finally by drawing of lots.

The top-seeded club after the pool round will have a home game against the best pool runner-up at the semi-final stage, with the two and three seeds meeting in the other tie. The Final will be held at the home ground of the finalist who finished highest in the pool seedings.

Round 4 fixtures

Saturday January 26: Bristol Bears v Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins v Saracens, Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers

Saturday February 2: Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby     

Sunday February 3: Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons, Worcester Warriors v Wasps

Semi-Finals: Saturday February 9

Final: Saturday March 16

Click here for the pool standings.