New Season's Fixtures Released
July 11 2019
The exitement for the new season is building and with the release of the Gallagher Premiership 2019/20 season fixtures we take another step back to the top-flight.
The Rugby World Cup has brought the Premiership Cup to the start of the season. The opening four weeks will be the entire cup competition. It'll be a bit odd with the rugby world focusing on Japan but it makes sense to get it done since most of the players who'd be rested during it will be away anyway. I suspect a lot of clubs will be using it for warm-up games and seeing whether they end-up having to get a bit more serious if results go their way.
It's always nice to ease your way into a competition so the first GP game away at Wasps is a bit of a kicker, it's worth mentioning, though, that there really aren't any easy fixtures in the Prem. Once we've been to the Ricoh we welcome Sale at the Madstad before heaing down to Saracens and then welcoming Leicester. The amusing thing about the opening quartet is that, on last season's form, it is the Tigers that is the best chance for a win. I'm sure the team will be hoping for wins in all of them - it's certainly welcome to take-on the Fez Boys while the bulk of their squad will be resting after the RWC (hopefully).
Two chunks of European Challenge Cup sandwich a trip to Bristol as we head into December leading up to a home game against Bath on the 22nd. It's a shame that this isn't the post-Christmas game as we'd almost certainly get in a good crowd for that but I suspec tthe club will be pushing hard to make this a big match anyway. The pre-celebration period is always difficult, though, with people too busy (and skint) shopping to care about the rugby. The year ends with a trip to Sixways, let's hope it's a bit better than the last festive-period visit where, from memory, we lost a turgid game and the coach (supporters') broke-down on the way home.
2020 sees a visit from Exeter just to get the blood pumping before the final two ECC pool games and then a visit to Northampton.
February consists of a visit to The Stoop and then we welcome the resurgent Cherry and Whites from Gloucester - it could be their year... The Six Nations begins on the 1st of Feb so these two fixtures will be without home international players.
The Six Nations continues into the first two weeks of March so the Wasps return fixture and away to Sale will also be affected. The closest fixture to Paddies Day is Bath but it is currently away. I guess we could try and swap home/away fixtures but then a big Christmas crowd is out of the question. My guess is that we'll go for the following week when Saints come to Reading (half marathon allowing).
A trip to Welford Road starts April before we welcome the Champions. A tough Easter period ends with a trip to Kingsholm.
May starts with two home fixtures. Auld enemy Quins and fellow r-word candidates Worcester visit before the annual trip to Exeter. Always fun, not usually good.
For the first time I can remember the late start means we finish the campaign in June with a home game against Bristol Bears. The play-offs will obviously follow, with a bit of luck we'll care but even the most green-eyed of us can't possibly be hoping for that can we?
As soon as I get five minutes I'll be getting The Craic fixture-list and prediction league populated.
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