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Playoff Race Going Down To The Wire In Aviva Premiership This Weekend

The playoff race for this season’s Aviva Premiership is going down to the wire with Friday night’s clash between Leicester Tigers and the Newcastle Falcons set to have a huge say on who makes it to the semi-finals next month, with 

Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons

Leicester have named arguably their strongest side of the season with the returning Manu Tuilagi starting in midfield for Matt O’Connor’s side. Newcastle have had a great season under Dean Richards and they will be smarting from their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Gloucester last weekend.

It’s set-up for a mouth-watering clash between the two sides but with the firepower all over the Tigers’ starting XV we think they will win this game in front of their fans but it will be tight.

Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 

Sale are in the hunt for Champions Cup qualification. They currently lie in seventh place, just two points behind Gloucester who occupy the final spot.

Exeter are flying high at the top of the table and their last loss came against Wasps in February. Since then they have been undefeated and in front of a typical raucous Sandy Park crowd, they should have too much for the Sharks.

Gloucester Rugby v Bath 

The West Country Derby is always a fixture to look forward to but we expect Gloucester to emerge victorious when you consider the dreadful run of form Bath are on at the moment. Todd Blackadder’s side have not won a game since the end of February and coming up against Gloucester at Kingsholm will be too much of a tough ask.

Gloucester are just three points behind the Newcastle Falcons who occupy the final playoff spot so they will have plenty to play for.

Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 

Harlequins have been absolutely dreadful this season and with John Kingston announcing that he will be leaving at the end of the season, it just adds a further level of turmoil for the club. The Warriors aren’t mathematically safe just yet but a win this weekend against Quins will guarantee them their Premiership survival and they should do so.

London Irish v Saracens 

London Irish have improved considerably since Les Kiss and Declan Kidney took charge of the club but it looks like they have run out of time to secure their survival. Saracens are humming along nicely since their Champions Cup exit at the hands of Leinster. Mark McCall’s side look set to finish in second place but they will want to make sure of that against the league’s bottom club.

Wasps v Northampton Saints

Wasps were sidetracked this week with news that Joe Launchbury and Elliot Daly want to leave the club at the end of their contract. This led to Dai Young releasing a statement to clarify matters so it hasn’t been ideal preparation for the clash with the Saints at the Ricoh Arena.

Nevertheless, they will be determined to win this game to secure their playoff spot at the end of the season and we fully expect them to against a poor Saints side.

Bet of the week:

We’re going for a full accumulator for the hell of it with Leicester Tigers (+5.5), Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Worcester, Saracens and Wasps all to win.

A £10 bet will give you a return of almost £30 and it’s sound like a good shout to us.

See how well we’re doing in the LeoVegas Punters’ Union rugby betting league at We’re going head-to-head with other rugby titles this season to see who can win the most rugby bets and finish top in May! Who are you betting on this weekend?

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter