Premiership permutations – who needs what

Saturday marks the last day of the Guinness Premiership’s regular season and there are pressing relegation and play-off issues still to be settled.

Northampton Saints are fighting for their Premiership lives in a must-win match to stay up, but they could stay alive if Worcester slip up.

At the top of the table, five teams are still in the hunt for the four play-off positions.

The first-placed side hosts the fourth-placed team and second will be at home to third on Saturday 5 May.

The winners will meet in the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham on 12 May.

The side that finishes last will be banished to National Division One.

Saturday’s fixtures:
All games kick-off at 15:05 (14:05 GMT)

Gloucester v Bristol – Ashton Gate
Leicester Tigers v London Wasps – Welford Road
NEC Harlequins v Sale Sharks – Twickenham Stoop
Newcastle Falcons v Bath – Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v London Irish – Franklin’s Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Saracens – Sixways

Who needs what on Saturday?
Teams listed in order of league standing

1: Gloucester – W14 D2 L5 – 66 points

Face Bristol at Ashton Gate on Saturday. Gloucester have already qualified for the Guinness Premiership semi-finals and another three match points would ensure that the tie would be played at “home”. Due to ground improvements Gloucester play a first ever home league match away from Kingsholm after 184 league games at the famous old venue, 133 of which they have won, including all ten this season.

2: Leicester Tigers – W13 D1 L7 – 66 points*

Face London Wasps at Welford Road on Saturday. Leicester Tigers lost 13-30 at Bristol on Tuesday evening, only the second time this season that the Tigers have recorded no league points from a match. Leicester need just a point to guarantee a place in the semi-finals but need to win to ensure that the match would be played at Welford Road.

*docked one point for fielding ineligible player

3: Bristol – W14 D1 L6 – 64 points

Face Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Saturday. Bristol have won their last three Guinness Premiership encounters but need two more league points to guarantee making the semi-finals for the first time. This game is deemed an away match for Bristol but the club have a played three, won three record at Ashton Gate.

4: Saracens – W12 D2 L7 – 63 points

Face Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Saturday. Should Saracens win they will qualify for the Guinness Premiership semi-finals for the first time, but Sarries have won just one of their last five away games in the Premiership: 22-7 at London Irish on 23 March.

5: Wasps – W12 D1 L8 – 61 points

Face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday. London Wasps only loss in their last seven matches in all competitions was 13-16 at London Irish in the Guinness Premiership on 18 March. Wasps have won just one away game in the Premiership since September, 23-16 at Harlequins on 10 March. Effectively Wasps need to win and also hope other results go their way to make the semi-finals.

6: London Irish – W12 D0 L9 – 52 points

Face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday. London Irish are out of play-off contention but clear of the relegation zone.

7: NEC Harlequins – W9 D0 L12 – 46 points

Face Sale Sharks at the Stoop on Saturday. Quins are out of play-off contention but clear of the relegation zone.

8: Newcastle Falcons – W9 D0 L12 – 44 points

Face Bath at Kingston Park on Saturday. The Falcons are out of play-off contention but clear of the relegation zone.

9: Sale Sharks – W8 D1 L12 – 42 points

Face NEC Harlequins at the Stoop on Saturday. Sale are out of play-off contention but clear of the relegation zone.

10: Bath – W7 D2

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