The new Gallagher Premiership season will kick off on the weekend of September 17/18/19, with Harlequins defending the title they won last month.
Bristol Bears and promoted Saracens open the season in front of the BT Sport cameras on Friday, September 17, with Leicester Tigers hosting Exeter Chiefs at Mattioli Woods Welford Road the following afternoon.
Harlequins begin their defence of the title at Newcastle Falcons in Round 1.
During last season, the average number of tries in Premiership matches moved above six for the first time in the competition’s history.
- 6,232 points were scored in 2020/21 at an average of 49.9 per game played, this average hasn’t been bettered since 2000.
- Average winning margin was 11.9 points per game – a figure only once beaten in the previous four seasons.
- The six-tries-per-game barrier was broken for the first time – 6.3 per game – with the previous best of 5.9 recorded in 2017/18.
- 786 tries were scored last season, a figure only bettered twice in the competition’s history despite 10 games not being played due to Covid impact.
For the first time since the Premiership started in 1997, 13 teams will contest the league, with every club having two ‘bye weeks’ in the season.
Simon Matson, chief executive of Gallagher’s broking and underwriting businesses in Europe, Middle East & Asia, said: “It’s always a big day when we reveal the first fixtures of a brand new season of Gallagher Premiership Rugby, but today’s announcement carries extra significance after two heavily disrupted seasons meant that much of the games over the past 18 months have been played behind closed doors. We now hope to be able to welcome back fans at full capacity in stadiums up and down the country.
“With their passion, their loyalty and their encouragement, we know it’s the fans that make the game.
“Our over-riding wish for this season, our fourth as title partner, is for as many people as possible to enjoy a live game experience.”